LHS record holder will study business and swim at historic Buffalo college
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
The Golden Griffins just got a lot more golden.
With her proud parents, coaches and Lockport High School Athletics Director Patrick M. Burke on hand Monday, senior swimming record holder Karly Hartz signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Division I Canisius on an academic and swimming scholarship.
Karly, an honor student out of water, state qualifier and school record holder in the 200-yard freestyle in the pool, was lauded by her former coaches, LHS girls varsity swim coach Kristen Smith and JV head coach Kevin Clark, as the type of student-athlete others should strive to be.
“She's a phenomenal athlete to work with. She's one hundred percent dedicated and a great leader,” coach Smith said. “She went above and beyond everything that was ever asked of her. She has a great heart.”
Clark added, “Karly's a great example of the development from the DeSales swim program to the high school, with exemplary values. She's a role model for other athletes to emulate.”
Hartz swam for the DeSales Catholic Middle School, earning many first-place finishes along the way. When she came to the high school, she started as a freshman and continued as a starter for four years under Smith and Clark.
As a 10th grader, Hartz not only broke the school's record in the 200 freestyle (1:57.56), but also earned a Niagara Frontier League title in the event, qualifying for the state meet in the 200 free as well as the 200 free relay. She broke her own record in the 200 free last fall.
Karly, an Honor Society member (96% average), also swam the past four years for the Tonawanda Titans Swim Club. She was named the WIVB-TV Channel 4 High School Scholar Athlete of the Month last November.
“I'm really excited about Canisius. I like their coach (Scott Vanderzell) and I've met the team and they're all nice. It seemed like they were really close,” Hartz said about her decision to go to Canisius.
“I'd like to thank my parents for all the time, money and moral support they've given me throughout my swimming career. I would never have been able to accomplish what I have if it wasn't for the both of them,” Karly said.
“I would also like to thank coach Smith. She was honestly the best coach I could ever have hoped for, always pushing me to do my sets harder and always believing in me.
“I also owe a lot of thanks to coach Clark for always pulling me aside and proving me with constructive feedback on how to improve my stroke,” Karly said. “He always found a way to keep a smile on my face with his sense of humor. I also want to thank all of my former DeSales coaches.”
Hartz, who will major in business at Canisius, said she wants to be remembered in LHS swim lore as, “a good leader and an asset — a good example for the younger swimmers.”