Missy McIntyre, the most decorated swimmer in Oak Harbor High School history, will be inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday, Nov. 16.
McIntyre, a 2005 graduate, will be honored at the high school state swim meet, the site of her Wildcat success, in Federal Way.
McIntyre said she was surprised by her selection.
“This all happened 15-plus years ago and I hadn’t thought much about any awards that would bring back this time in my life,” she said. “After my surprise, I immediately thought about the early morning practices before school, my teammates and friends. There was a very supportive and tightly knit community with me throughout all of my training in Washington.
“Oak Harbor breeds great teammates, and that made my big dreams in the sport approachable and actually fun.”
McIntyre won eight district and seven state championships during her time at Oak Harbor High School. Included is a four-year run as the state titlist in the 100-yard breaststroke; she set a state record (1:02.39) in the event in 2003.
After graduating from Oak Harbor High School, she moved to Los Angeles and trained with Mark Schubert for the 2008 Olympics.
“I didn’t make the Olympic team that year but I did make a European circuit,” she said.
McIntyre competed for the United States in Spain, France and Monte Carlo.
Today she is a photographer in Bend, Ore.
Although McIntyre won a fistful of awards and set numerous records, she is most proud of how swimming shaped her as a person and the avenue it gave her to share her experiences with others.
“Having days where I accomplished big wins and other days when I could barely lift my arms over my head, all led me to taking advantage of the platform I had with younger female athletes, sharing my experience with young women to be proud of their biceps and find their inner strength through sports,” she said. “My records will be broken by those young women and hopefully will lead to a world where more women are believing in what they can do.”
McIntyre said her success came from her ability to push her physical limits. She was willing to wake up early and focus on the task at hand, which meant she could do everything she wanted “much later down the road.”
“I truly found enjoyment in red-lining my body,” she added. “Asking it everyday what it could handle and noticing when it would run out of juice, hoping that with a little rest, I could go even farther the next time. I felt very connected and empowered to the journey of my ever-growing abilities.”
Her success also came from a strong support system.
“Every coach I’ve had taught me something,” she said. “They all helped me stack the heavy building blocks towards that podium.”
Her teammates and friends in high school and at the Tacoma Swim Club made each day fun and balanced, she added.
“We leaned on each other to get through it.”
She also acknowledged her parents, Mike and Sharon McIntyre.
“Not being swimmers themselves, they both know from their own lives that hard work pays off,” she said. “They put themselves through the wringer, taking me to early practices and far away swim meets, keeping me accountable and organizing my really busy training schedule to be healthy and maintained.”
McIntyre’s accomplishments at OHHS
•District swim champion, 200 individual medley, 2001.
•District swim champion, 100 breaststroke, 2001, 02, 03, 04.
•District swim champion, 50 freestyle, 2002, 03, 04.
•State swim champion, 50 freestyle, 2002, 03, 04.
•State swim champion, 100 breaststroke, 2001, 02, 03, 04.
•State swim record, 100 breaststroke, 1:02.39, 2003.
•Oak Harbor High School Athlete of the Year, 2003, 2005.