Awards: Mundelein’s Klink, Wiener earn Athlete of Year honors
Amy Klink: Mundelen High School's Female Athlete of the Year. | Brian O'Mahoney~For Sun-Times
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:48PM
When Mundelein High School senior Amy Klink plays basketball, it’s not a pretty picture.
“I’m not coordinated at all,” she said. “I’m one of those who is tripping every two seconds.”
Put Klink in the water, though, and it’s a different story.
Klink, a star swimmer and water polo player, was recently named Mundelein’s Female Athlete of the Year. Senior Bryan Wiener, a swimmer and baseball player, earned Male Athlete of the Year honors. The Mundelein athletics department staff and coaches throughout the school vote on the award.
“It was quite an honor, especially because a lot of the other coaches don’t get to see me swim, and there are so many other great athletes,” Klink said.
Klink knew from a young age that water would be her second home.
“I would watch my older brother and sister at their practices, and all I wanted to do was get in the pool and swim,” she said. “I also grew up in a lake community, so we were always at the beach and in the water.”
Klink was a three-year qualifier for the IHSA state swim meet. She had perhaps her best performance of her career at sectionals this year. In addition to helping two relays advance to the state meet, she also qualified in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke.
“We had just missed qualifying the year before in the relays,” she said. “We had such great spirit this year, and that pushed us through.”
Boys swimming coach and water polo coach Rahul Sethna enjoyed watching Klink’s success.
“She’s been the face of the girls team the past few years,” he said. “She had talent, but she was always one of the hardest workers in the pool and was able to maximize her ability.”
Klink also was the most versatile player on the water polo team.
“Swimming is a team sport, but also an individual one, whereas water polo is all team and you have to depend on your teammates,” she said. “I really enjoyed that, and I loved my teammates and coaches. It was such a good atmosphere.”
Klink is hoping to swim for the club team at Clemson University. The school recently dropped its men’s and women’s swimming programs. At Clemson, she’ll study biology, with a goal of becoming a marine biologist.
“I remember going to the Shedd Aquarium and falling in love with it,” she said. “As I got older, I became (more intrigued) as I researched it more. There are mysteries under water, and I would like to be a part of discovering some of them.”
Making a splash: Wiener’s path to swimming was far from typical. He did not join a swimming club before high school or compete at the age-group level. In fact, the primary reason he went out for swimming as a freshman was to get in shape for baseball.
“Swimming works every muscle in the body and helps get you in cardiovascular shape,” he said. “I didn’t know if anything would come of it, but I kept progressing each year.”
During the 2012 state meet, Wiener finished third in the 100 backstroke (50.31) and seventh in the 50 freestyle (21.40). He combined with Connor Black, Art Kasemets and Matt Marcotte to post a second-place time of 1:33.97 in the 200 medley relay.
Wiener will swim for Lewis University next year.
Wiener was the only 2011-12 Mundelein student-athlete to be a member of both the swimming and baseball teams. In baseball, he was a center fielder and pitcher who helped Mundelein post a 34-5 record and advance to a sectional final. Mundelein’s season came to an end with a 7-3 loss to Highland Park.
In the sectional semifinal against Palatine, Wiener came through with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Mustangs a 3-2 victory.
“I make sure to keep my composure in clutch situations,” Wiener said.
Sage advice for the baseball diamond — and the pool.