Hill School postgrad Dikos to swim at Penn State

If you would have asked Sterg Dikos one year ago where he envisioned himself during the 2014-15 school year, he likely would have told you “playing water polo in college.’

Dikos had committed much of his high school career to water polo, and had applied to three colleges where he intended to play. A change of events caused Dikos to reconsider his options.

After medaling at the PIAA Swimming Championships in February 2014 while attending Governor Mifflin, Dikos decided to pursue swimming in college and enrolled at The Hill School for a post-graduate year.

He committed much of his summer to swimming in pursuit of a college offer, and on Nov. 12, Dikos’ hard work paid off when he signed a National Letter of Intent to swim at Penn State University.

“We are very excited to have Sterg join our team this year,’ said Hill head swimming coach Jay Spencer. “He is the complete package with high academic, athletic, and personal standards. We expect him to make strong contributions in several events.’

Dikos has participated in aquatic sports for most of his life. The Mohnton native began swimming for the Shillington Streaks, a local summer team, at age 4. Dikos joined the Governor Mifflin middle school water polo team when he was in sixth grade, and was equally focused on water polo and swimming throughout his middle school years while also playing football and lacrosse. When he arrived at Governor Mifflin Senior High School, Dikos was impressed by the senior players on Mifflin’s perennial state power water polo team and decided to focus more on water polo.

“I remember being impressed by the high level at which Mifflin’s varsity water polo team played,’ Dikos explained. “I strived to reach that level of play in my own game. For most of high school, I focused on water polo while using swimming as a way to stay in shape in the offseason.’

His commitment to water polo paid dividends, as Dikos scored 100 goals during his senior season to earn Berks County Player of the Year honors and a spot on the All-State team. Dikos applied to Iona College, Mercyhurst College, and Washington and Jefferson College, but also considered taking a post-graduate year because he was young for his grade. After finishing eighth in the 100 freestyle at the 2014 PIAA State Swimming Meet in an All-State and All-American time of 45.63 seconds, Dikos reconsidered his educational and athletic options for the 2014-15 year. After a conversation with his family, Dikos decided to apply for a post-graduate year at The Hill to focus on swimming.

Dikos spent the summer swimming two times per day at the Lancaster Aquatics Club. His club coach, Casey Coble, introduced Dikos to the Penn State coaching staff.

“The Penn State coaches expressed their belief in my potential once I started swimming year-round,’ Dikos said. “They said they were willing to take a chance on me if I decided to commit to Penn State.’

Dikos visited Penn State in October, and also considered Virginia Tech. He enjoyed his visit to Penn State enough that he decided to commit for swimming.

“I really liked Penn State’s campus, the coaching staff, and feel like Penn State is a good academic fit for me,’ Dikos said, adding that he hopes to study Business.

As water polo is a fall sport at The Hill, Dikos spent the fall playing for The Hill varsity boys’ water polo team. His leadership and work ethic impressed his peers and the coaching staff so much that Dikos was named a co-captain of the swim team for the upcoming season.

“Sterg’s leadership was so evident during the water polo season that the boys’ overwhelmingly elected him as a co-captain of the swim team during the first week of the season,’ Spencer said. “That is unprecedented for a first-year swimmer on the team.’

With water polo season and his college decision behind him, Dikos now will turn his full attention to The Hill swimming season. He enters the season within reach of The Hill’s school records in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events, and a 100 butterfly time that bests Hill’s 35 year old event record. Dikos has high hopes for the team and for himself.

“I hope that, as a team, we can win Easterns,’ Dikos said. “Personally, I hope to drop my times and contend for an Easterns gold medal in relays.’

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