- By Patty Hutchens
Athletes of the Month: Constance Kirby & Mack Ditter
Photo by Jeanette Racette
Constance Kirby feels at home in the water. She has been swimming competitively since she was 8 years old and her hard work has paid off. For the past three years she has competed at the state meet and hopes to compete at state again this month. Her talent has not gone unnoticed as she has received the Coaches’ Award three times and holds a 4.0 GPA.
She moved to the U.S. from England at the age of 11 and said she plans to attend a four-year university next year where she will study chemical engineering.
“I fell in love with chemistry my sophomore and junior year, and I’ve always been good with math so chemical engineering brings my favorite subjects together into a career,” said Constance.
She said one of her biggest challenges has been keeping up her grades and helping out her family.
“With two younger brothers our household can get a little crazy,” said Constance who adds that planning out her day and prioritizing what needs to be done has helped her.
If there is one thing she has learned in life it is the importance of working hard in both school and swimming.
“Swimming is a very mental sport and being able to push yourself during the moments of doubt and pain has translated into school,” said Constance. “Another lesson (I’ve learned) is being flexible when things change...as nothing in life is linear.”
Photo by Julie Saltvick Photography
Gig Harbor High School senior Mack Ditter is a dedicated young man. For the past three years he has been named an outstanding school athlete, two of those years were in both baseball and football, and carries a 3.87 GPA. Mack has earned the respect of his coaches and teammates, being selected as team captain for his final football season this year.
Eager to follow in his parents’ footsteps, Mack hopes to attend Washington State University next year, a dream he has had for many years. But continuing to play football beyond high school has also been a goal.
“I am considering continuing to play football either at a smaller university or possibly walking on at Washington State,” said Mack, who adds that he would like to study either engineering or finance. “I have always enjoyed learning about math and the sciences and would like to have a career where I can apply that.”
Mack’s success has not come without challenges. He has sustained multiple wrist injuries over the years but said he has learned that training his body in the offseason is almost just as important as the training he does on the field.
Mack said that football has shown him what it is like to be a part of something bigger than himself and has also taught him the importance of surrounding himself with people, especially coaches and teammates, who push him to be the best version of himself.
“There is no way I could have had the success I’ve had on the field and in the classroom without my coaches and teammates,” said Mack.