Seventh grader joins swim team at PHS

By Chad Koenen

Alex Mack


When Alex Mack stepped into the pool last week, he etched his name in the history books for New York Mills. Just a seventh grader, Mack became the first male member of the Perham swimming team from NY Mills High School.

While swimming has remained a popular sport in NY Mills for girls each fall, up until this year there has never been a male member of the sports team. Wanting to participate in a winter sport outside of boys basketball and wrestling, Mack inquired about possibilities in joining the Perham swim team through a co-operative agreement with Perham.

“I just liked it,” said Mack. I just always wanted to be on a swim team.”

NY Mills Athletic Director Matt Radniecki said NY Mills students have had the opportunity to join the boys swimming team for a number of years, but until this year no male member of the school has opted to join the Perham/NY Mills swim team. 

The NY Mills seventh grader has been in swimming for a number of years now and enjoys the workout he gets while in the pool. He also enjoys being a member of a team. When he participated in his meet last week, Mack said his teammates were cheering both himself and the other team on in the pool. He said it is that camaraderie that he enjoys, and is looking forward to continuing in the future.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. 

Mack, who is the son of Cory and Therese Mack, said he hasn’t really thought about being the only person from NY Mills on the swim team. He said his teammates have been welcoming and encouraging to their new team member, even if many of the swimmers are quite a bit older than him in school.

“It feels great because my team cheers other teams on and me too,” he said. “It’s very nice. It’s very encouraging.”