The importance of Jordan Harlan to the success of the Brooke High School boys' swimming team can best be summed up by coach Gina Reitter.
''He is irreplaceable and his leadership is unmatched,'' she said.
Harlan has been one of the key cogs in the Bruins' success the past few years. And while he may not have been the most-recognizable of the group, as a senior, he's now in the position of team leader.
''Jordan is a motivator,'' Reitter said. ''When he talks, people listen. It's nice to have that kind of person at the helm of this team this year because we are young and need swimmers like Jordan to lead so we can rebuild.''
Harlan has started the season off well. During the Bruins' opening meet against Wheeling Park - the Bruins edged the Patriots 77-76 - Harlan posted victories in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and was part of the winning 400 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.
Against Parkersburg South five days later, Harlan was again a winner in both freestyle events.
''Jordan has many strengths,'' Reitter said. ''Individually, his strongest event is the freestyle. Within the framework of the team, he's slated to anchor every relay he's in, which is the most important position.
''His winning attitude is everything - I honestly believe that he can do anything he sets his mind to.''
Reitter said Harlan's experience will certainly come in handy with a young club.
''With three OVAC championships and two regional championships under his belt, I think Jordan will continue to play those moments over and over again in his mind to provide him with the motivation to repeat and the inspiration to be better than before.''
Reitter expects that attitude to permeate the rest of the team.
''Jordan is the kind of athlete coaches dream about having at the head of their teams,'' Reitter said. ''He is respectful, motivated, determined, and others look to him for leadership.
''I know I can count on him to always do his best and I have no doubt that he will have the success he has been working so hard for.''