By Ho Hoffman
MEDINA — Let’s get it right, all you swim meet announcers. The name is pronounced “Dan Ka-Hal-An.”
“I’ve heard it pronounced so many different ways, I’m used to it,” Medina swimmer Dan Cahalan said. “It doesn’t bother me. They’re usually close enough and when they begin with Dan, I have a good idea who they mean.”
This year, the Medina swim team captain should hear his name announced quite frequently as an event winner.
The All-Gazette honorable mention selection is coming off an outstanding year. At last year’s district meet, he finished ninth in the 200 individual medley, swam a leg on the 10th-place 400 relay and was 17th in the 500.
“That was really a fun time,” Cahalan said. “That is what will drive me this year because I know if I worked and practiced just a little harder last year, I may have cut enough time off to make it to state.”
Cahalan was also involved in two school records as the 400 relay clocked 3:19.35. Cahalan also broke the 200 IM with a 2:02.49. He had the fastest times in Medina County in the 200 IM, 500 (5:01.17) and as a member of the 400 relay.
The senior isn’t leaving anything to chance this season and has been working since the end of last season to get his times down.
“Half-a-second can make the difference on whether you win or lose or if you make it to district or stay home,” Cahalan said. “Actually, you win or lose before you get in the pool. You have to be both mentally and physically ready to compete. If not, you might as well forget it.”
Cahalan is planning on going to college to study engineering and doesn’t think swimming will figure in his future plans.
“I would love to swim in college, but I want to go to a Division I school for my degree,” he said. “I don’t have much of a chance of making a Division I team, but maybe I could swim intramurals. That is why I am so pumped up to do well this year. It could be my last year of competitive swimming.”
Cahalan, who has been swimming for six years, thinks the team should do well this year and gives a lot of the credit to new coach Jamie Moore.
“Coach Moore has done a great job the last two years as an assistant coach and this year as head coach in getting us ready to compete at a high level,” Cahalan said. “We are short on numbers, but high in talent. We will lose a lot of secondary (4th, 5th and 6th place) points in duals but should get a lot of firsts and seconds and do real well at meets. This should be a great year. All we have to do is work hard on getting our times down.”
Now the only thing left to do is make sure the announcers get the name right. It is “Ka-Hal-An.”
Contact Ho Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.