Madison Wolfe was so disappointed in her performance in the Division I district swimming and diving meet during her junior season that she thought about quitting the sport.

Madison Wolfe was so disappointed in her performance in the Division I district swimming and diving meet during her junior season that she thought about quitting the sport.

Despite intense training with the Olentangy High School and Westerville Aquatic Club teams that season, Wolfe finished 15th in the 100-yard backstroke (1 minute, .93 seconds) and 17th in the 100 fly (1:01.31) at district for the Braves.

"When I was 10, 11 and 12 years old, I was at the top of my game and I did real well and made it to the state meet," she said. "But when I was 13, I got tendinitis in my (left) shoulder from overtraining, and I kind of hit a wall from the age of 13 to 17 where I hardly dropped any time and I was so frustrated that I wanted to quit so many times.

"I worked so hard my junior year and I was expecting big things at district, and then I only dropped a tenth of a second (in the 100 back) and I didn't want to keep doing this. The only thing that stopped me from quitting was I wondered what I was going to do with all of my free time."

Believing she needed to get stronger, Wolfe trained twice a week throughout the offseason with personal trainer Jill McCambridge. Westerville Aquatic Club coach Jim Peterfish also set up an individualized training program for Wolfe in the pool.

Her workouts paid dividends in dropped times throughout her senior season.

In the Division I district meet Feb. 18 at Ohio State, Wolfe finished 12th in the 100 back (58.7) and 17th in the 100 fly (1:00.68).

Wolfe, Victoria Langwasser, Nicole Chase and Mara Nebraska also finished ninth (1:52.42) in the 200 medley relay.

"Madison was so upset with how her junior season ended, but she fought through that mental barrier, worked even harder and had an amazing senior season," Olentangy coach Steve Gipe said. "She broke our team records in the 100 back, 100 fly and 200 medley relay at district to end her career on a good note. I will always remember Madison for her drive because she's a very dedicated and goal-oriented young woman."

Blessed with a 6-foot frame, broad shoulders and the powerful legs of a prototypical swimmer, Wolfe was recruited by several college coaches before she chose to accept a scholarship from Cleveland State in May.

"This has been the craziest year of my life with so many ups and downs, and I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I'd get the chance to swim for a Division I college team after the way my junior season ended," she said. "I was looking at schools in Florida and North Carolina because I thought I wanted to be far away from home, but a good friend (Ryan Blankenship) told me how much he loved swimming at Cleveland State, so I decided to take a visit in May. The coaches and everyone on the team were so friendly, and I just knew it was the right place for me."

Wolfe credits her mother, Shari, for most of her success in the pool.

"My mom has been the biggest influence in my swimming career, and she's the biggest reason why I have a scholarship," she said. "She's the one who wanted me to take swim lessons and she took me to all of my practices. My mom always makes sure I give 110 percent in everything I do."

Wolfe, who graduated from Olentangy this spring, said she will miss seeing her father, Jay, each day at school, where he serves as athletics director.

"It was quite interesting having my dad there," she said. "It was nice in a lot of ways, because I could go see him when I really needed to. And if I forgot my lunch, I could always run over to his office to ask him for lunch money. But then there were times when some (Olentangy student-athletes) would be mad at him because they were being punished for getting in trouble and they would be really rude to me."

Jay Wolfe said it was satisfying to see his daughter at school considering his long work hours.

"Obviously, it was nice for me to have her at the school," he said. "Because of the long hours of my job, I didn't always get to see her a lot when she was growing up. I just hope that she thinks the time we did spend together away from school was quality time because it sure wasn't quantity time.

"Sometimes her being in my building was difficult or even heartbreaking for her, seeing me dealing with some of the things I had to deal with. But she was a trooper through it all and I think she's going to have a wonderful career (at Cleveland State). I'm proud of Madison and I'm just glad all of those 5:30 a.m. practices she had over the years have paid off."