Langanis takes top-25 finish at state meet

With the end of a harsh winter came an abnormal amount of state titles and visits from many C-G athletes. While he didn’t achieve a state championship, such as those seen in wrestling and gymnastics, junior Cooper Langanis has done in swimming what few C-G athletes have ever done before.

Just one month ago, Cooper faced what might have been the most important event of his young career: state finals, an event he claims has been his goal since the beginning of freshman year.

“I knew the [time] cuts I had to get since freshman year and I kind of came close last year, so I knew I could drop the time to get what I needed,” Langanis said.

This year, Langanis worked countless hours both in and out of season to try to reach his goal of state.

“I started lifting this year and also I upped my practices to some mornings and every day after school,” he said. “We would swim three miles a day sometimes. It was a lot.”

Needless to say, Langanis was not alone during these grueling practices. It was Langanis’s teammates — whom he considers his best friends — that helped him cut his lap times.

“I probably wouldn’t even want to swim if it wasn’t for them,” he said. They make practice so much more enjoyable and they push me to work harder.”

Langanis has been motivated by his teammates since his first days swimming for C-G.

“Michael Hamann was probably my biggest influence,” Langanis said. “He was a senior my freshman year and got fourth in state in 200 [individual medley]. He was always an inspiration for me.”

As the weeks to state dwindled down, Langanis’s training only intensified. When state finally came around, he went on to place 25th in the 300 and 500 meter. Looking back on it now, Langanis said, “state, for me, wasn’t all that emotional. I was just happy to be there.”

Langanis’s words are indicative of his humility and, above all else, his passion towards the sport.

“I still love swimming,” he said. “Most people hate swimming after a few years of high school, but I love going to the meets and I love my teammates. They’re great.”

Based on that passion, it’s no surprise that Langanis is optimistic about his future in swimming.

“Next year the seniors are graduating, and I expect to get a lot better. So, hopefully, I can get into the top ten.” And that might not be the end of his days competing in the pool.

“I’m looking at swimming in college right now but the competition is really tough so I’m not sure yet,” Langanis said.

Langanis’s path after high school may be uncertain, but what is certain is that he is going to do good things in the meantime. He could even secure a spot on the podium next year at state, better than his own humble expectations.