Photo by Callie McPhail
The East swim and dive team is getting back into the water this season and to work towards clinching a third consecutive state title. Senior Joe McGuire, however, has other concerns.
McGuire and his family discovered this past October that he was born with a hip abnormality, which has gone unnoticed for years as the effects of this abnormality only recently surfaced. And as a returning varsity swimmer and state qualifier, this abnormality could now pose a serious disadvantage for the team at state this year.
About a month ago, McGuire started to feel sharp pains in his hip. When the pain started to inhibit his swimming participation, he went to see a Dr. McKabe. An X-ray revealed that he had a bone spur, a lump of bone, in his hip joint. His doctor diagnosed him with Hip Impingement Syndrome, which can cause stiffness and immense pain in the hip area. There’s no real treatment to heal this condition without surgery, which could take upwards to six months to recover from. McGuire is reluctant to risk not swimming at all this season, and he now has to swim through the pain.
“I’ll still be [a part of the team] no matter what,” McGuire said. “I’ll just be there for support [if it comes to that].”
While his participation in the sport may be limited for now, he has been doing as much as he can to help his team come home with another state title. He has been swimming for Swim Academy, a local swim team, for the past couple of months. With this injury, however, his participation in practice has been limited.
The pain and mental distress that comes with the injury causes him, and the team, much concern for the season. McGuire refuses to let that stop him, and says he’ll swim through the pain to help out his team: which he has become very close to.
“[Swimming has] been pretty much my life the last three years,” McGuire says. “I didn’t think I would make the best friends that I have. I moved to the district to swim, so not being able to swim would hurt a lot.”
Other than winning State, the team aims to become the highest scoring team in Kansas 6A high school history, meaning they earn 415 points or higher. McGuire ranked in the top eight in two events at state last year, giving the team several points. But both of those events involved breaststroke, which requires the very hip motion that causes him pain. This would make swimming those two events very unlikely for McGuire, which would take away precious points from the team’s overall score.
McGuire must face the fact that he might not be able to contribute as much as he would have without this injury. Regardless, he wants to do everything he can to continue the East dominance in swimming.
“I just want to do as much as I can.” McGuire said. “If I can, I want to be [in the] top three, swim on two relays, and win a state championship.”