ORONO, Maine — Two Hancock County swimmers have been named YMCA Citizen of the Year for 2013, it was announced Saturday during the YMCA Maine State Championship meet held at the University of Maine.
Madison Luck of Mount Desert and Cecelia McEachern of Ellsworth are the male and female recipients, respectively, of the honor which includes a commemorative plaque and $500 scholarship.
Luck, a senior at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor and the son of Chris and Nia Luck, started swimming as a 6-year-old. He competed in the state meet his first year and every year since.
“In the pool, he has had great success not because of his talent but because of his ability to always work and strive to be better,” wrote MDI YMCA head coach Jim Willis in his letter nominating Luck.
“He is supportive of others, willing to help all, always has a good word for someone and just plain nice,” added Willis.
Willis also noted that Luck is a successful student and an accomplished musician as well. Luck is the first chair for cello and saxophone with the Bangor Youth Symphony.
In addition to the receiving individual honors at MDI YMCA, Luck has been a member of the MDI Y’s board of directors and had helped with both swim lessons and summer swim camps.
“I cannot think of any swimmer that I have had that is more deserving of this award,” Willis wrote. “Madison gets the YMCA’s four character values and puts them into practice every day.”
McEachern, a senior at Ellsworth High School, also started swimming at age 6, at the Down East Family YMCA in Ellsworth.
“While Cecelia was not the most natural athlete, she was very successful at a young age due to her intense desire to improve,” wrote Matt Montgomery, the head coach at Down East Family Y, in his letter of nomination. “Cecelia enjoyed her success, but was never truly satisfied.”
At 12, McEachern started swimming with the senior swimmers, then took what she learned and voluntarily helped younger swimmers improve their strokes.
“I learned early on not to underestimate Cecelia,” added Montgomery. “She is the youngest swimmer on our team to capture an individual High School State Championship event [100-yard breaststroke in 2010]. She now holds every individual record on her high school team.
“She volunteers countless hours a year for our swim team, aquatics department and summer camp. All the while she maintains an excellent record at school and a healthy family and social schedule.”
Montgomery believes that will continue after she graduates this year.
“Cecelia has the leadership qualities, organizational skills and character to achieve anything she sets her sights on,” he wrote.