Tanner Guderian, a senior at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, has scoliosis and epilepsy but is a member of the Highlands Ranch High School co-op team. He swam on two Falcons relay teams that placed 13th in last year’s state swim championships.
“I have scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine,” Guderian said. “I have a 19-degree curve in my lower back which is pretty extreme for a guy. This means I’m constantly living with pain in my back and that can make some of the different turns and strokes in swimming pretty difficult.
“I am celebrating one year free off medication for my epilepsy. I was diagnosed with it when I was 10 and suffered up to 15 seizures a day before we found a medication that worked. That meant I had seizures practically everywhere at school, at home and in the pool.
“That made it pretty nerve-racking for my parents and coaches as they did not want me to risk having a seizure and drowning just so I could continue a sport,” he continued. “It was also pretty terrifying for me whenever I would have one in the water.”
Guderian said swimming helped.
“I didn’t overcome these challenges so I could keep swimming,” he said. “Swimming helped me overcome these challenges. It would have been very easy for me to say `my back hurts’ or `I probably shouldn’t be doing this’ and just give up swimming. Because I stayed in the water, I was able to prove to myself, even though things are maybe a little uncomfortable, I can live a normal life and keep doing what I love.”
“He swims for the Aces Swim Club and Highlands Ranch. He was on track to have an amazing year but with COVID-19, his high school season and club season were canceled. This effectively ended his chance to swim at a Division I level in college.”
Highlands Ranch boys swim coach
Q&A with Guderian
How does missing the season affect your college plans?
I’m very disappointed about the senior season. It would have given me a chance to drop times so colleges could see them.
How do you like online learning in school these days?
This is my last quarter, so it hasn’t been too bad.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Michael Phelps because of what he did in the Olympics. (He won 28 Olympic medals and 23 were gold).
What do you like to do away from swimming and school?
I love being outdoors. Open water swimming and going outside for hikes.
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