State champion profile: Ansel Averitte

Practice pays off for NDP state swimming champion

By Kaden Macor, Staff Writer

Ansel stands atop the podium after winning the 50-yard freestyle (Monica Averitte/Special to The Seraphim)

Speeding through the water, with his hair braided and legs shaved, Ansel Averitte hit the wall with one last push, looking right and left to see he’s the first to touch. All the hard work and dedicated practices finally paid off for the Notre Dame Prep senior as he glided through the 50-yard freestyle, touching the wall without a single breath to capture first place with a time of 21.29 seconds. He finished .33 ahead of his competition, Harris Temple, a sophomore from Prescott High School.

Eighteen years earlier, his parents, Randal and Monica Averitte, could never imagine that their burly baby, born September 22, 1999 in Scottsdale, would become a state swimming champion and possible Division I college recruit.

At a young age, Averitte loved the water, taking every opportunity to jump in and float. Averitte started competing in swimming as soon as he could independently jump in the water. As soon as kindergarten started, Averitte vivaciously competed in competitions. His earliest memory of competing in swimming was the first time he touched the wall faster than everyone else. His evidently natural talent led to practice every day and regular competitions. Today, weighing in at 181 pounds and standing 6-foot-1, Averitte is athletic and clearly dominant in the pool.

Averitte stated, “From the time I was a little kid, I loved the water and took every chance I could get to swim.”

Averitte spends almost every day at the Phoenix Country Day Pool, rising as early as 4:30 a.m. to train diligently in preparation for his next competition.

Averitte said, “I spend 15 hours a week in the pool. I try to always put in 100% and I train every day to be the best I can be. I spend a lot of time doing dry land training outside of the pool. I lift weights and train my flexibility to perform my best.”

According to Averitte, his dedication to win the 50 freestyle state championships stemmed from wanting to end his final high school season better than the previous one while having fun doing it. He also placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke, and he teamed with junior Nicholas Salvino, sophomore Connor Markl and freshman William Bansberg for a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay. Additionally, Averitte captured a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay with Salvino, Markl, and junior Payton Mueller.

Ansel placed fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke (Monica Averitte/Special to The Seraphim)

Averitte says he is extremely determined to participate in Division I swim and is exploring the possibilities. Some of Averitte’s other  accomplishments include being named freshman of the year in his first high school season and being named most valuable member of his team this year.

Averitte, with a constantly warm smile and friendly attitude, said, “Wining the 50 free means everything to me. Seeing all my hard work in the pool and hours of training pay off is really rewarding and exciting.”

Salvino, who  placed third  in the state championship 50 freestyle, said Averitte is a “very hard worker and talented athlete.”  Salvino described their four-year friendship as incredibly strong.

“… Even though he now swims on a different club swim team, I think that our friendship has not stopped growing and will continue even after he leaves for college next year,” said Salvino.

When asked to describe Averitte, Salvino said the three words he would use are “kind, loyal, and leader.”

In addition, Salvino said, “Ansel is a great guy who is fun to be around. He really lifts up the entire team and pushes us to perform our best.”

Salvino believes Averitte determination, success, and motivation stems from “His parents and friends … as well as his strong belief in Christ.”

Another long-time friend of Averitte, Alexa Markl, proclaimed, “Ansel is a great friend and always is putting in 100 percent whether he’s in the classroom or the pool.”

For Averitte, being a gifted swimmer is not enough. Averitte continually challenges himself in the classroom and is described by his teachers as a kind-hearted and intelligent individual. Senior theology teacher, Beverley Fraser, characterized Averitte as a humorous young man and an excellent student.

Fraser said, “Ansel is a wonderful addition to the classroom and always does excellent work.”

Averitte’s teachers proclaim that they are amazed that Averitte maintains excellent grades while remaining so dedicated to swimming. Averitte’s determination seems to be the key factor in his success in and outside the classroom. His challenging course load and aspirations for a selective college only further the obvious tenacity Averitte displays.

“I think my determination and performance in and outside the pool comes from my desire to succeed and be the best I can be,” Averitte said.

Averitte’s evident hard work and dedication is seeming to pay off as Averitte describes his process with college recruiting as nerve-racking but exciting. Averitte hopes to participate in Division I swim and keep strong academics at a selective university.

Overall, Averitte is described by his peers as a kind, humorous, vivacious, and intelligent individual. Averitte and those around him are excited to see what the future holds in store for such a promising young man.

Ansel congratulates the runner-up Harris Temple (Monica Averitte/Special to The Seraphim)