KANSA CITY, Mo. - Keep an eye out for a powerhouse swimmer on Team Italy. Riccardo Maestri swam for Park Hill South during the 2010 – 11 school year. Now, he is an Olympian.
Daniel Day was on the PHS team with Maestri.
“It looked like he was just gliding right on top of the water,” described Day as he remembered Maestri’s technique.
Day and Maestri were instant friends. In fact, they still Skype today.
Maestri spent a school year in America as a foreign exchange student. During that time, he set more than a handful of records at Park Hill South and in the state of Missouri.
“It doesn't look like he's going that fast and then you look at the time and think, wow,” he remembered.
Day poured through old team photos and stories Monday with Park Hill South Boys Swim Coach Steve De La Diepra.
“Maybe a little bit intimidated just because I never coached somebody of this caliber before,” De La Diepra admitted. “But I knew if I could just train him well enough to get some solid yards in and get his heart rate up and get him conditioned, I thought that could do the trick.”
If it didn’t do the ‘Olympic’ trick, it sure did help.
When Maestri hits the pool Tuesday in the 4x200 freestyle relay, competing for Italy, both plan to cheer hard.
“This is the only time I'll root for a country outside of the United States,” De La Diepra said jokingly.
To see the records Maestri holds at Park Hill South High School, visit http://tinyurl.com/c89vfy5.
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