Kittanning grad Mudlo preps for final swim meet at IUP
The final laps in the pool are approaching for Logan Mudlo.
Mudlo, a 2010 Kittanning grad, is gearing up for his final meet swimming for IUP, as he will represent the Crimson Hawks in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships, Feb. 20-23 in York.
In his four years at IUP, Mudlo swam a variety of events, but he settled into a role as a freestyle distance specialist for his junior and senior seasons. At the PSAC Championships, he will swim in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle races and possibly in a freestyle relay for his final college meet.
“My goal for the championships is to finish every event scoring points for my team,” Mudlo said. “The top 16 in each event earn points in the team score.
“To achieve that goal, I'm looking at swimming my best times. If I can do that, the scoring should come with it.”
Mudlo's times are in the top five on his team in each of the three distance events — 4 minutes, 56.74 seconds in the 500, 10:29.25 in the 1,000 and 17:26.21 in the 1,650 — though some teammates with better times will be concentrating on other events in the PSAC meet.
After an intense period of training in January and a taper period ahead of the PSAC meet, Mudlo feels his final meet could yield the fastest times of his season.
“We go on a training trip each year to Delray Beach, Fla. That really gets us into the second half of our season,” Mudlo said. “It's pretty intense, and we come back a little beat down, but then we go into a rest period before the PSAC meet.
“It works well, because everyone usually has a really good meet at PSACs.”
The intensity of college training has helped Mudlo improve from his high school days, when he was a three-year WPIAL qualifier for Kittanning. His development further was boosted by the decision to focus on the distance events and gear his training toward the freestyle.
“Coming in at IUP, I didn't know what my main events would be. They threw me in a couple of strokes, but I never really hit my peak until I started doing the 500 free,” Mudlo said. “I started as a sprinter and worked up to the distance events.”
Mudlo swam his final home meet for IUP on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 against Gannon and Bloomsburg, and though said he might continue swimming in Masters competition, the final home meet was an indication his competitive swimming days are winding down.
A computer science major, Mudlo plans to find a job and start his career in the Pittsburgh area after graduation.
While he has a plan in mind for his post-graduation path, his most immediate concern is going out on top for IUP in the conference championship meet.
“I'm still really concentrating on times,” Mudlo said. “In high school, I considered myself a little above average as a swimmer. Hopefully at this last PSAC meet, I can go out with the best times of my career and see how far I've come.”