November 15th, 2012

Plant, Burckle Honored at SHA

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Plant, Burckle Honored at SHA
Burckle and Plant stand by new banner/photo by Sarah Menefee

Plant and Burckle return to SHA

Sacred Heart Academy honored alumni Mary T. Meagher Plant, Caroline Burckle, and Leigh Ann Fetter Witt with a banner commemorating their Olympic performances Thursday morning. Plant and Burckle attended the ceremony held at their Alma Matter.


“It’s fabulous. To think they modeled a banner (for the Olympics) after all of the other sports and championships, it’s fabulous,” said Plant. “They did such a nice job. There’s always something special about a tradition and reputation (with swimming).”


Plant won gold medals in the 100 meter and 200 meter butterfly in 1984, a bronze in the 200 meter butterfly in 1988, and a gold and silver in the 4 x 100 medley relay in 1984 and 1988 respectively. Burckle earned a bronze medal in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics.


“I actually can't even begin to fathom what to say about Sacred Heart and what a fine athletic reputation it has always had,” said Caroline Burckle. “Furthermore, to be honored by one of the utmost respected and successful high schools in the nation makes me so very thankful to always be a Valkyrie. To share this alongside the two of the greatest swimmers ever, Mary T. Meagher and Leigh Ann Fetter, is truly a dream come true.”


Sacred Heart athletic director Donna Moir noted that the Valkyries swim team has won more state titles than any other team at Sacred Heart.


“We have won more state championships in swimming than any other sport dating all the way back to 1963- the schools 1st state championship,” said Moir. “We send lots of girls to swim at the next level and have always had excellent coaches in our program.”


As one of the all-time great swimmers in American history, Plant believes it’s all comes down to hard work and pushing yourself.

“Hard work, there’s nothing more gratifying that really pushing yourself and really working hard. I think we’ve lost that a lot in our society,” said Plant. “I think that’s really sad. You think you are okay, until you push yourself and achieve an amazing goal.”

Besides the hard work and dedication Plant put into swimming, she always looks back on her formation and faith and how it helped her succeed.

“My faith, it’s a gift,” said Plant. “My faith has always been very personal and very strong. If you follow biblical teaching as best you can, you will be blessed. My faith has helped me through the ups and downs in life. I would like these girls to have that same thing to hold onto (in life).”


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