Student flys into future career as a swimmer

By Julia Adams — All the hard work is truly paying off for senior Susan Franz. After breaking the school record for the 100 fly, coming in at 58:60, and breaking the meet record for the 50 free, finishing at 24:12. Franz is on top of the world, having a very successful senior season.

“This year is different, I have a different mind-set going into races, relaxation is key,” Franz said.

Franz listens to music, mostly electronic and dub step, she also prays before each event. This helps her relax and keeps her focused on the goal she sets to accomplish for herself.

“Just swim your race and don’t worry about anyone else but yourself,” Franz said.

This has become a motto for Franz this season.

However, Franz cannot just claim her success on relaxation techniques and swimming the race for herself. Franz swims year round and works with a personal trainer when she is not in the high school swim season. Franz does this to gain an edge on her competition.

When she isn’t swimming for GlenOak, she swims at the YMCA, with her coach DeDe Dearnbarger, they focus immensely on technique and form, which has contributed to Susan’s success in her school season.

“I have such a great support group, my parents, Coach Burrows, and coach DeDe, push me to be better everyday,” Franz said.

Franz’s parents have made a huge impact on her successful season, from cooking healthy dinners to making goodie bags for her relays, Franz’s parents are behind her every step of the way. Franz stresses how important nutrition is during the very long swim season and her parents try their best to fulfil their daughter’s nutritional wants.

“I feel a big difference with my energy and performance when I eat healthier,” Franz said.

Along with Franz’s parents, coach Burrows is a huge help, knowing her competition every week and pushing her in practice based off of any flaws he saw during the meet.

“Susan has the ability to work hard, that is what separates her from others, she sets realistic goals and chases after them, that’s what makes her great,” Burrows said. Franz also has a great relationship with Coach DeDe and enjoys swimming for her.

Franz has a bright future ahead of her. Akron University recruited Susan in the summer going into her senior year.

Franz, being the determined and positive athlete she is already setting goals for her success in college. Franz would love to help get the team to NCAA nationals, at some point of her college career.

As for the rest of Franz’s high school swimming career, she believes her 200 free relay could make it to states.

“Susan is self-motivated, and a natural born leader, if she puts her mind to it, she will succeed,” Burrows said.

Franz has a promising swimming career ahead of her.

“Everyday is an opportunity to get better, and each swim is an accomplishment,” Franz said.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]