Smith awarded the H.L. Hodges Jr. Award
FRI.| 07-08-22 | SPORTS
The H.L. Hodges, Jr. Award is given to a female senior who is the most outstanding athlete. Madeline Smith received this award on May 20 during Senior Awards Day.
Smith has been swimming since she was five years old and has swam at Rose all four years. Along with swimming for Rose, she swims competitively for East Carolina Aquatics (ECA). Smith is going to continue her swimming career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) next year.
Out of all female seniors, Smith was chosen for this award because of the many
Photo by Riley Harris
accomplishments she has made throughout her high school swimming career.
“I have won states in the 100 [yard] freestyle all 4 years and 3 times in the 200 [yard] free,” Smith said.
With help from her coaches, Smith was able to better her swimming abilities and increase her love for the sport.
“Mr. Pierce [and] my club coach, Casey Charles, [influenced me the most],” Smith said. [Charles] is passionate about both Emma Hastings’ and my swimming careers, which helps us perform to the best of our abilities.”
After receiving this award, Smith has great respect for those who selected her and those who helped her earn this award.
“I am honored to [have] received this award because the whole senior class was considered,” Smith said.
Smith's emotions after hearing she had earned this award exemplify her humbleness and portrayals of other athletes like her.
“I was surprised [I earned this award] because there are so many amazing female athletes at our school,” Smith said.
This past Rose swim season proved to be the most successful season that Smith and her teammates have had since she has been on the team.
“It was the best [season] out of all four years because we had a solid group [of] senior girls who were able to place second and third in the 400 [yard] free relays and 200 [yard] free relays,” Smith said.
Swimming for the school has allowed Smith to get more practice and gain more experience in competing.
“[Swimming for Rose] gives me [the] opportunity to compete in more meets during the season,” Smith said.
Next year the team will miss Smith and her contribution in the pool.
“I brought experience [to the team],” Smith said. “I have been on the team three years prior and have been to many meets.”
Although Smith will miss swimming for Rose and her teammates, she is excited to take her athletic career to the next level at UNC.
“I’m excited to finally be in college and get to live with all my new teammates,” Smith said.