Athlete profile: Dexter senior swimmer Kate Mesaros

Kate Mesaros is the co-editor-in-chief of Dexter’s award-winning school newspaper but the story she is helping write in the pool is grabbing headlines all over the state. Mesaros’ career so far has been a real page turner and the ending the Dreadnaughts hope to write could end up in the history books.

The Dexter swimming and diving team is currently ranked third in the state in Division 2.

“This year I hope to get All-State in all four of my events and try to get my name on the record board as much as possible,” said Mesaros, one of several elite swimmers on the Dexter High roster in 2015. “I want our team to place higher in Division 2 states this year; my goal is to get second or even first.”

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Kate, 17, is the daughter of Jamey and Lisa Mesaros.

“Kate is one of our senior captains and has improved every year since she’s been here,” said Dexter coach Cory Bergen. “She has been a key to our success this season.”

Before we look at the present and the finish line, let’s go to the starting block.

“I started swimming when I was 5 because there was a pool in my neighborhood with a summer swim team,” said Mesaros, when asked what first got her in the water. “I enjoyed swimming because it was fun to race other people and try to beat them. I liked the individuality of the races too. I liked how it was on me to perform and I didn’t have to rely on everyone else. In my race, it was just about me getting to the wall as fast as I could.”

Her freshman season at DHS was all about getting her feet wet.

“It wasn’t very exciting for me,” she said. “I was not a very successful swimmer but this drove me to work hard and get a lot better. It was an eye opener for sure that pushed me to improve my swimming.”

The following year, Mesaros accomplished her first state-cut time and she won the “Sophomore Award” from Bergen.
She took it to the next level as a junior. She went from being on C relays to getting All-American on the A medley relay at States. She was All-State in three events and received Most Improved Swimmer for the Dreads.

“It truly is an indescribable feeling to finally see all of that hard work pay off,” she said. “I’ll never forget when I was at Holland at the 2014 state meet and I cried when I found out that I got All-State in the 100 breaststroke; I was the happiest girl in the world.”

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Swimming has helped make Mesaros happy during her years at DHS.

“I think that the team atmosphere is what I enjoy the most,” she said. “Everyone motivates each other and brings each other up. Coach Bergen is a great coach who knows what he’s doing and he brings the whole team dynamic together. We work hard, have fun, and drop time, what more could you want?”

Bergen has created a tradition of excellence and the swimmers simply stay in this lane of success. Mesaros says each year the new group of swimmers work hard to defend the tradition.

“Coach Bergen encourages us to work our hardest and perform our best,” she said. “The captains are meant to bring the team together and make the season fun and enjoyable and not just about swimming. It’s about making friendships with teammates that are there for you through every race: good or bad.

“If the team dynamic is off, it’s much harder to be successful. We all encourage and motivate each other in order to perform our very best and Bergen as well as the captains make this happen.”

Seniors Lizzy Merriman (right) and Kate Mesaros are leading Dexter into elite waters in high school swimming. Photo by Terry Jacoby
Seniors Lizzy Merriman (right) and Kate Mesaros are leading Dexter into elite waters in high school swimming. Photo by Terry Jacoby

Mesaros plans on taking her swimming – along with her 4.0 grade-point average – to college.

“I am looking for a school where I can exceed both academically and athletically,” she said. “The destination is undecided as of now but I am looking at Boston University, Tufts University, Washington University of St. Louis, Case Western Reserve University, and Marist College.”

Wherever she goes she will take the lessons learned in the pool with her.

“Swimming has taught me many things that I can translate to the rest of my life,” she said. “Through swimming, my work ethic has been altered, my dedication tested and my patience strengthened. Swimming has taught me that some goals can take years of hard work to accomplish. Just like I had goals in swimming, I now have aspirations for college and life.

“It may take a lot to accomplish what I want, but I can easily say that I’m up for the challenge.”

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