A Blacksburg High School swimmer is one of five area student-athletes that have been named 2017 High School Heisman winners.
Senior Cameron Seeley has been swimming competitively for nine years with the H2okie Aquatics, summer league-Shawnee Sharks and Blacksburg High School. But a serious knee injury last year left her swim career in doubt.
She said she is very grateful to receive the award and knew her strong work ethics and effort would pay off.
Seeley has mostly been a sprinter and mid-distance (less than 400 meters) in the pool with her best strokes being in the freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke.
As a freshman, she made it to the finals in all four of her events. A year later, she would take fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke and seventh in the 200-meter freestyle. As a team, the Bruins would finish second overall that year.
She also qualified for the nationals in the 100 breaststroke, but that swim career came to a halt when she tore her ACL and dislocated her kneecap while playing in the junior-senior powderpuff game.
“After my injury and surgery, my goal was to recover as fast as possible, stay as well connected to the team as I could, and rehab my knee to stay in the best shape so that I could to make my comeback seamless,” she said.
Seeley was not cleared to race for nine months, but hit the pool and proved both the doctors and doubters wrong.
In February, which was only four months after her surgery, she raced at regionals qualifying for states in the 100-freestyle. Then at state, she finished eighth in the 100 free and competed in three other relays: 400 freestyle, which the team placed in second, eighth in the 200 freestyle and ninth in the 200-medley relay.
As her senior season gets underway, she has big plans for the pool and will serve as captain of the BHS team.
Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have been running the same play to perfection: honoring more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. This year, Wendy’s will celebrate the accomplishments of thousands of the best high school seniors, awarding winners representing their school, state and then the national winners.
“Cameron is known by her teachers and friends for her commitment to excellence. We are excited and honored that a program like Wendy’s High School Heisman is also recognizing her hard work,” said Brian Kitts, Principal at Blacksburg High School.
Seeley currently has a 3.981 grade point average and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and American Sign Language National Honor Society.
She has also found time to help coach a local summer swim team. She has been in talks with Virginia Tech, James Madison and George Washington to swim in college.
“My knee injury pushed back my timeline but not my passion. I am training harder than ever to make swimming a part of my college experience, and I plan on committing to a school this spring. My career interest is in the sports medicine field. My injury allowed me to have first-hand experience as an athlete with an injury and has prompted me to intern this school year where I completed my physical therapy, so I am looking towards a career in physical therapy, health nutritionist and/or athletic trainer,” she said.
Other area student athletes that received the award were: Reegal Patel and Kaylyn Cromer from Christiansburg High School, Paige Johnston of Eastern Montgomery, and Nathan Cox at Radford.
The Wendy’s High School Heisman was created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Thomas dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old in order to work full-time and went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history.
While this nontraditional path led to his prosperity, it always worried Dave that others would follow in his footsteps and expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college.
Faced with this dilemma, at 61 years old, Dave enrolled at Coconut Creek High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Inspired by this moment and with a desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy’s High School Heisman program.
Twenty-two years later, Wendy’s High School Heisman has honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.
The Wendy’s High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.