When Jordan Galovich stepped into the Highland natatorium as a freshman, it was her very first foray into competitive swimming.
“I had never swam competitively before I tried out,” Galovich said. “But my mom and her two sisters had swam for the Lansing Swim Organization, so that influenced me. Plus I knew I needed something to help me stay in shape.”
Three years, six sectional medals, and six more sectional finals appearances later, both Galovich and the Trojan program are in very good shape.
“It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it,” Highland coach Ryan Harrington said. “The top swimmers in the region have been pool rats for ten or twelve years. Jordan comes out as a raw freshman and qualifies for sectionals in every event, every year.”
Galovich spent all of one week on the JV squad that first year. Harrington saw the potential, as well as the natural ability she displayed in both the 50 and 100 free.
“I didn’t really know very much about different strokes for specific events,” Galovich said. “But my coach said I had a good stroke for the sprints, so that is where I ended up swimming. It has worked out for me pretty well.”
The sprints require a power stroke, and Galovich took to it naturally.
“Jordan quickly became one of our top sprinters,” Harrington said. “She was very eager to learn, and spent incredible amounts of time in the water tuning her craft. Her work ethic has been amazing.”
In her first three years, Galovich qualified for sectional finals in both sprint events. She also won sectional medals in the 200 medley and 400 free relays all three years.
As a senior, she will be team captain for the second straight year.
“I take the role very seriously,” Galovich said. “When I was new, I looked up to the seniors for guidance. They did a lot to help me both in and out of the pool. I didn’t forget that. Now, as an upperclassman, it’s my turn to help the younger swimmers.”
Last week, Harrington witnessed the way Galovich took on the role in the weight room.
“Jordan took time out of her own workout to go to each of the freshmen and work with them on their techniques,” Harrington said. “Later, when she was done helping them, she went back and finally got the chance to finish her own work. Most seniors are concentrating on what they can do to have their best personal season. Jordan put her own ambitions aside and worked on the betterment of the team.”
Galovich shrugged off the coach’s compliment.
“It’s what I am supposed to do,” she said. “I want the Trojan program to be better every year. Whatever I can do to promote that, that’s what I am supposed to do.”
During the offseason, Galovich decided to switch from sprints to the 200 and 500 free distance events.
“I decided that I needed a new challenge, something different,” Galovich said. “I needed to push myself this last time around.”
Harrington embraced the change.
“Jordan is a very coachable swimmer,” he said. “She will put in the work needed to excel.”
The first few weeks have been a significant learning curve for Galovich.
“Lots of learning about how I have to change my strokes and my approach,” she said. “The distance events are very different than the sprints. I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments, both mentally and physically. But it’s been really good, and I’m glad I made the move.”
Galovich has led a resurgence of the Trojan swim program after a few lean years.
“Jordan has done a lot to get us back to the top in Lake County,” Harrington said. “We’ve made some great strides in conference and sectionals, and she has been instrumental in both.”