It has been said that those who make a good first impression are often successful in their endeavors.
If that's true, then senior Carlee Wieser definitely adhered to this philosophy when she joined the Marian Catholic girls swim team as a freshman.
"I could see the talent right away," Spartans coach Sean Scanlon said of Wieser, a Schererville resident. "My assistant coach kept bugging me during her freshman season to move her up to varsity, but we took baby steps to get her to that point.
"Once she started competing on varsity about two months into that season, she handled it well."
While Wieser has certainly grown and flourished as a member -- and also as a leader -- of the Marian squad, swimming was actually not her first choice of sports. In fact, prior to her freshman year, Wieser had no swimming experience whatsoever.
She originally tried out for volleyball as a freshman but did not make the team. This prompted her mother to suggest that Carlee join the swim team.
"I was hesitant at first, but I went to practices anyway," Wieser said. "I liked the girls and the coach, so I stuck with it."
Scanlon is certainly glad she did.
"She is a big reason why we have gotten better," he said.
Wieser's dedication to her team and her constant desire to make improvements helped the Spartans defeat powerhouses Mother McAuley and Homewood-Flossmoor for the first time this year.
"We were all excited, because we wanted it so badly," Wieser said.
Scanlon admires Wieser's devotion to the sport, and believes that her maturity and good leadership qualities have played key roles in her development as a swimmer this season.
"(Carlee) is internally driven," Scanlon said. "You can see it from her academics and her swimming. She is focused, and I only have to tell her things once or twice. She works hard all the time."
Wieser has confidence that her tireless efforts this year will result in success for both her and the Spartans at Saturday's sectional meet at Lincoln-Way North.
"We hope to win the 200 (-yard) medley relay and the 200 free relay," she said. "I will be competing in the 200 free relay, and I hope to help get us to state. I would also like to swim 25 seconds in the 50 free and 56 seconds in the 100 free."
Considering all that she has accomplished this season, there is little doubt Wieser will push herself hard in order to make those goals a reality.