Michael Chenier Swims to Win
Posted March 26, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
GOLDSBORO — Michael Chenier of Eastern Wayne High School is the state champion in the 50-meter freestyle. He is also a former 100-meter freestyle state champion.
"His dream is to go to the Olympics," says youth swimming coach John Richards. "He will be a freshman at Carolina next year, and he's a sprinter, and they have one of the best sprint programs in the ACC. Michael loves a challenge, and the bigger the challenge the better off he is. So the sky is the limit with him."
Chenier comes by swimming naturally. His mother and father were both All-Americans at SMU. But he knows that genes will not do it all. It is hard work with swimming practice before and after school, long hours in the pool and weight room, and a lot of sacrifice.
"My usual schedule is go to school, go to practice, come home eat dinner, study - do my work and go to bed," Chenier said. "But I've been doing it since I was 9 years old. It's something I've grown accustom to."
"His drive is just to be the best that he can," Eastern Wayne swimming coach Vince Beasley said. "And to do the best he can in whatever he is doing, whether it is swimming or academics."
Chenier is an honor student that is eighth in a class of 303 with a 4.66 grade point average.
"He is focused and he knows what he wants to do," says teacher Carol Moore. "He has drive, ambition, and he's friendly. He is just an excellent young man and an excellent student."
"I'm going to Carolina next year to swim," Chenier said. "I look at it as, I'm going there for school and swimming is on the side. Swimming is a huge part of my life, but I definitely have to focus on the academics because that is what's most important in the long run."
Eastern Wayne High School senior Michael Chenier is this week's winner of the Extra Effort Award.