Community Sports Unplugged: From the Huddle

Dive into the Huddle, where engagement in sports story and discussions about our sports community unfold. Find enriching insights and explore a wide range of inspiring content in this dynamic sports community space.

Scholastic Athletics & Community Highlights

Uncovering Our Sports Scene

Athlete Spotlights & Expert Insights

Youth Sports and Business Synergy

Stay Connected to the Pulse of Sports in Westfield​

Huddle Image

Join us in the Huddle and become a cherished part of the Westfield sports story. We’re your dedicated connection to all the exhilarating sports narratives, bridging the gap from the playing field to the passionate fan base.

Michael McCulloch: A Lifetime Love for Swimming

This summer, amidst the hustle and bustle of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Michael McCulloch will be competing in the 2024 U.S. Master Swimming Spring National Championship. His journey in the water spans over four decades and embodies the spirit of dedication, perseverance, passion and an enduring love for the sport of swimming.

McCulloch, a seasoned swimmer with the Indy Aquatic Masters team, is currently training for the prestigious event, set to take place at the IU Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis June 20-24. Nearly 2,400 swimmers are expected, including McCulloch, who is eagerly anticipating the challenge.

U.S. Masters Swimming is a national organization that benefits nearly 60,000 Masters swimmers across the country and their 1,200 Masters swimming clubs. Indianapolis is extremely fortunate to have one of the most successful Masters swimming programs in the nation with over 500 members. Indy Aquatic Masters (www.indyaquaticmasters.com) offers up to eight coached practices a day at various locations and times and also offers an Adult Learn to Swim program.

For McCulloch, the biggest hurdle isn’t the competition itself but rather the constant battle with time. Balancing the demands of daily life with rigorous training sessions requires meticulous time management and unwavering dedication. Reflecting on his swimming career, McCulloch shares the invaluable advice that has shaped his approach to the sport and life itself.

“Swimming is no different from school or the workplace,” says Mike. “The most studious student doesn’t always get the best grades, just like the hardest worker doesn’t always get the promotion. Success is talent and hard work, but first you must enjoy the ride getting there. And tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

McCulloch learned how to swim before he was 2 years old and was swimming on a team by the time he was 5 years old.

“I swam through high school and all four years of college at the University of Evansville,” says Mike. “I can easily and honestly say it was a love/hate relationship. After college, I took up running for exercise and probably didn’t swim competitively for almost 15 years. Then a little over 10 years ago, I ran into some old swim teammates that were still swimming, so I thought I would try it out. I’ve been enjoying swimming again ever since.”

For McCulloch, the best part about swimming is that it’s a lifetime sport. A full body and mind workout with numerous health and well-being benefits, he swims with people of all ages, from 18 to 85+.

His love for swimming transcends the pool, extending to his role as a supportive husband and father to two daughters who share his passion for the sport. When not chasing his own aquatic goals, McCulloch can be found cheering on his daughters as they compete in swimming and running events, or simply enjoying downtime at their lake house in northern Indiana.

As a member of a tight-knit swimming community, McCulloch has learned invaluable lessons about the sport and life.

“I believe honesty with yourself is essential to your success, both in the pool and in your professional and personal life,” says Mike. “We strive for perfection in the pool but must keep in mind that it’s an unobtainable goal. Therefore, we must learn how to cope with failure and embrace the never-ending path to constant improvement and growth. Mistakes are inevitable; the trick is not to spend your time and energy trying to avoid them but rather learning how to bounce back quickly from those errors.”

Looking back on his career, McCulloch takes pride in his accomplishments. He primarily competes in open water swims, including:

  1. Indy Open Water Challenge (2 mile swim) – Winner
  2. Warsaw Aqua Mile – 3 time Winner
  3. Big Shoulders 5k Swim in Lake Michigan – Top 10 finisher
  4. Open water swims in San Francisco (with sharks!), Maui, Ireland, Detroit River, Lake Michigan, Florida, and more
  5. Signed up to swim a 2 mile race in the Chicago River in September, which will be the first time a race has been held there in over 100 years

His accomplishments in the pool include:

  1. Top Ten Rank National Swimmer (for his age group)
  2. 1st and 2nd place State Swimmer (for his age group)
  3. University of Evansville – School Record Holder, Most Valuable Swimmer Award, Freshman of Year Award, and All-Conference Team Indy


However, it’s not the medals or records that define McCulloch’s journey but rather the unwavering passion and commitment to a sport that has been a lifelong companion. As he prepares to share a pool with prospective Olympians this summer, he embodies the spirit of a true athlete— showcasing determination, perseverance, and an unwavering love for the sport. Stroke by stroke, he inches closer to his goals, serving as an inspiration to others on their own paths.

His accomplishments in the pool include:

  1. Top Ten Rank National Swimmer (for his age group)
  2. 1st and 2nd place State Swimmer (for his age group)
  3. University of Evansville – School Record Holder, Most Valuable Swimmer Award, Freshman of Year Award, and All-Conference Team Indy


However, it’s not the medals or records that define McCulloch’s journey but rather the unwavering passion and commitment to a sport that has been a lifelong companion. As he prepares to share a pool with prospective Olympians this summer, he embodies the spirit of a true athlete— showcasing determination, perseverance, and an unwavering love for the sport. Stroke by stroke, he inches closer to his goals, serving as an inspiration to others on their own paths.

The Power of Sportsmanship

Sports provide American youth the opportunity to build physical strength, mental strength, and emotional strength. Why are these qualities so important in the modern world? If we do not prepare our youth to be strong in mind, body and spirit, they will not have the proper temperament to succeed in an ever-changing and dynamic world.

When an adult deals with challenges and disappointment they seldom think through how they were prepared to meet those challenges. What are the steps they took or activities they participated in that led them to become a confident and effective leader? Hundreds of baseball and softball games are being played daily this month all over Hamilton County and Central Indiana. Whether they know it or not, each athlete is learning valuable lessons that live long after they have finished playing.

The ritual of shaking hands after each game is a time-honored tradition that needs to be a part of all athletic endeavors. Learning how to compete vigorously, even to the point of frustration, losing or winning, and then shaking hands and respecting the outcome is the most American lesson we can teach our children. Robert Faulkens (IHSAA assistant commissioner) summed it up recently, “Baseball is the most American of pastimes. The game embodies the soul of America. Attention to detail, perseverance, fair play, and civility are all honored values of our great nation. The same can be said of sportsmanship. Respect the game, respect yourself, respect your opponent. Every good sport does that.”

This summer, sit back and enjoy watching America’s pastime and remember to allow your kids to win or lose with grace. Remember to model and teach the values of teamwork, fair play, respect, humility, and gratitude. Teaching our youth the values of sportsmanship will benefit all of us and our great nation.

 

From The Huddle Archive: Get caught up with Westfield athletics and community highlights year round

Dive into the Huddle, where engagement in and discussions about our sports community unfold. Find enriching insights and explore a wide range of inspiring content in this dynamic community space.

The broadcast continues: Meet members of the Westfield HS Broadcast Club

A look back at Westfield High School’s 2022 – 2023 athletic season

Westfield HS duo finds calling with Rocks Sports Podcast

Westfield set to unveil renovated CSI Signs Gymnasium

At the start of each school year, every team and every athlete approaches their season with a renewed sense of confidence, hope and excitement. But, this school year, it’s not just the athletes who are looking forward to a fresh start. Westfield High School Athletic Director Andy Tebbe and Assistant Athletic Director Ginny Smith are full of excitement and pride for the unveiling of some new facilities upgrades that they are sure our community will enjoy.

Huddle Image

Inside the Game

Dive into the exhilarating world of local sports with our “From the Huddle” section.

Beyond the Field: From the Huddle Specials

We explore the human side of sports – the stories of resilience, Westfield youth sports, teamwork, and triumph that inspire us all. From exclusive interviews with local athletes to behind-the-scenes glimpses into their lives, we shine a spotlight on the individuals who make our sports community truly exceptional. Join us as we go beyond the field, uncovering the personal narratives and extraordinary moments that define Westfield’s sports scene.

Shopping Basket