Maggie Langdale is no longer the apprentice.
She has emerged as a mentor.
The Myrtle Beach High School swimming standout’s sophomore year was another successful one, but her role changed greatly en route to being named the Toast of the Coast Girls Swimmer of the Year.
Langdale, who has been on varsity since seventh grade, spent several years as the young phenom on a Seahawks squad that featured the likes of multiple-state champ Lauren Campbell and others.
With Campbell having graduated and the Seahawks featuring a young squad, Langdale found herself becoming a veteran presence on the 2012 squad.
“It was [different] because I feel like I’ve always been the youngest one and I was kind of near the older group now,” said Langdale, who placed third in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 200 freestyle at the Class AAA state meet. “It was different – it was a good different, though. We had a really young team this year so I tried to help them learn the high school varsity swimming experience.”
It was a rite of passage of sorts. The same, she said, had been done for her as she grew within the program.
“We had Lauren and other girls that were older and I’m very shy so it was nice to have some older girls to help me and make me feel comfortable and feel welcome,” Langdale said, “so I’m trying to do that with the newer swimmers.”
She certainly led by example. In addition to her results in individual events, she helped the Seahawks to an 11th-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay and a 13th-place finish in the 200 medley relay.
“I would [attribute her success] to her effort in the practices and her dedication to the sport because she swims probably five to seven times a week,” Myrtle Beach coach David McCarty said, referring to the fact Langdale swims year-round with the Coastal Aquatic Club.
Still, with two years left in high school, Langdale has big aspirations. She’s working toward becoming a state champion, a feat Campbell completed twice as a junior.
“That is my goal,” Langdale said. “I hope to receive a state ring within the next couple years.”
McCarty, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if it’s right around the corner.
“I think the ceiling is way high for her,” he said. “My gut feel is that next year she’ll win one of her events.
“People better watch out for her, that’s for sure.”