Lake Norman & Mooresville

Dedicated senior leaves legacy in and out of pool

Logan Heck has made a name for himself in the pool for Lake Norman, breaking several school records while being named an All-American and earning a swimming scholarship to North Carolina.

But the senior hopes his Wildcat legacy has more to do with what he did behind the start blocks

"I hope to be remembered as hopefully a good teammate," said Heck. "Always helping people out and being there for my teammates."

Lake Norman swimming coach David Tucker, who took over the program for Jon Busch mid-way through the season, said he's been impressed with the leadership that Heck, who he has known during his time with SwimMAC, has demonstrated.

Tucker said Heck takes time to give freshmen on the team tips on technique and to motivate his teammates during races. But one of his biggest contributions to the team, aside from his competitiveness and focus, may be the way he carries himself in and out of the pool.

"He shows them how to be a champion - how to prepare for a race, how to motivate yourself," Tucker said. "That's what he should be doing as a senior."

Tucker said Heck constantly gives his best in the pool. Although Heck is not as tall as other swimmers, standing at 5-foot-9, Tucker said the 18-year-old gives his all and does whatever is necessary to win.

"He has probably one of the biggest hearts and wills that I've seen in any swimmer," said Tucker, who has 28 years of coaching experience and is a former college swimmer at Division III Bethany College (W. Va.).

Heck has also put in the work to be successful, practicing more than 20 hours a week year-round with his club team.

"It's a lot of work, but it pays off," said Heck.

He began swimming when he was 7, when a friend convinced him to give it a try and join a summer league in Boca Raton, Fla.

"I thought that was a lot - having practice every night in the summer," Heck joked.

A few years later, Heck moved to Savannah, Ga., where he joined his first club team and started getting serious about swimming.

"I wasn't really good at all," said Heck, who's lived in Mooresville since he was in eighth grade. "But I kept with it and just kind of took off."

Heck has made an impact on the Wildcat program since his arrival at the school, earning all-state honors his freshman year after finishing third in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley at the 3A championships. He helped the Lake Norman boys win a state title that season.

In the 4A state championships his sophomore year, Heck finished fourth in the 200-yard IM while also placing second in the 100 butterfly. He was also on the 400-yard freestyle relay team that won the state championship, and he helped the 200-yard freestyle relay team finish fourth.

Last season, Heck was third in the 50-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100 butterfly, while also helping his 200- and 400- freestyle relay teams finish as state runners-up.

During his Wildcat career, Heck has broken records in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle as well as in the 100 butterfly, the 200 individual medley and as part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team.

Heck, who's having another good year for Lake Norman High and his SwimMAC club, said he hopes to able to get over the hump and claim an individual state title at his final high school meet.

"The goal is to put it all out there," he said. "The goal is to win."

Heck has a lot to look forward to after the state meet, having swam 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying times in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle as well as in the 200-meter butterfly.

"It was really exciting," he said about hitting the times. "It's a good feeling when you get them, it's almost like it's a weight lifted from your shoulders."

Heck will compete in Omaha, Neb., in late June with the best swimmers from across the country for a chance to represent the U.S. in the Olympics in London.

He said he's excited for the experience as well as to start his Tar Heel career.

"I think it'll be great," said Heck about joining the UNC swimming program. "The coaches and the team there are great, but it's also a great education. I just thought that would be the best place for me."

But Heck is still focused on pushing his Lake Norman team in the last few weeks of the season.

He will have help from N.C. State signee Reed Wheeler and freshman Austin Hill. Senior Heather Issetts leads the girls.

The Wildcats have had to make several adjustment in the past year, losing several talented swimmers to graduation and their former coach Karen Stager as well as two coaches this season.

"It's kind of a rebuilding year for us," Heck said. "But I think a lot of the younger guys and some of the people who don't swim year-round have really stepped up."

Tucker is happy with the team's progress.

"They're just a fun group to coach," he said. "The team is coming together and I'm happy to see that."

Tovar: 704-358-5941.