McClintock High School: Cross Country, Swimming, Track & Field
Melissa Belote Ripley - Head Coach, McClintock High School Swim/Dive Team
3 Time Olympic Gold Medalist Swimming – 1972 - 2 Time United States Olympian – 1972 & 76
Right from the start, Gage understood the value of hard work and its relationship to being successful not just in swimming but in all areas of his life. Gage improved very quickly, almost on a daily basis. His times just kept dropping and he kept moving up within the team until he earned a spot on our scoring team and a place on our Boy’s 200 Medley Relay as the Breaststroker. His hard work, dedication, drive and enthusiasm were rewarded when Gage was named to our McClintock State Championship Team as the Breaststroker for the Boy’s 200 Medley Relay. The Boy’s Relay team placed 22nd at the Arizona High School State Championship Meet. This was a nice accomplishment for a young man who had only been swimming for 4 months. At our McClintock Award’s Banquet, Gage was honored by receiving our 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Award and also earned his Varsity Swimming Letter.
Gage is well liked and respected by his teammates and peers. Even as a new member on the team Gage was very involved – assisting the captains when needed, helping to lead cheers, setting-up and cleaning up before and after meets, always encouraging his teammates and being enthusiastic during practices and at meets. He was always the first to volunteer and help when I needed assistance with anything that related to the team. With his strong work ethic, dedication and enthusiasm he led by example for his teammates which made us a stronger team. For the 2017-18 Swim & Dive Season Gage has been named Boy’s Team Co-Captain – a great honor bestowed upon him by his teammates. Our Team Captains are elected by the team and approved by the coaching staff based on their ability to lead, their ability to build rapport with their teammates, their ability to get tasks completed, work directly with the coaching staff, solve any potential problems and set the example for their teammates to follow. Gage has been on the Academic Honor Roll for six semesters and has earned his Academic Letter his sophomore and junior years (freshman are not eligible). He is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, where he is Co-President this past year and upcoming year and serves on the Student Council. Outside of school Gage has attended National Youth Leadership Forums for Engineering and Technology and National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense. This summer Gage will travel to the Dominican Republic through Global Leadership You can see Gage is a very well rounded, talented young man. He is one of those young men who will succeed in life and will only get better with the challenges put before him. He already exhibits on a daily basis many of the character traits necessary to be successful in college and into his life and career after college.
TOMMIE Oliverio-Lauderdale– TEAMMATE
I have known Gage Reitzel since Middle School. We are teammates in swimming and classmates at Peggy Payne Academy at McClintock High. Since I have known Gage, he has been fearless about challenging himself. He is very diligent about his academic work and his responsibilities and keeps high expectations for himself. Last year he decided to join the swim team and already by this year he has become one of the captains. When he first began swim, our coach put him in one of the hardest races, the 200 IM. Even though he struggled to finish the race, he continued to persevere and finished. The coach knew she could count on him to swim any race no matter how difficult. His attitude inspired everyone on the team including myself. He encouraged us to strive to swim faster with optimism. In our academic classes, Gage set a great example by being serious about his work but also cooperating with others to do well. Whenever I was stuck on a problem somewhere in our classes, he was there to try and explain it to me. His outlook made our classes together a bit more manageable. Swimming with Gage has made swim a more enjoyable experience for me personally. Our swim practices can be very demanding, but even after we have given it our all, Gage still looks to where he can improve himself and our overall team. So, Gage is kind of like the glue that holds our team together. And without that glue, our team would not be nearly as competitive and close as we are