Mudd Mom Knows Best
Writer / Christy Watson
It’s the first day of summer break and the migration of kids on bikes to swim practice has begun. Wearing damp suits with goggles looped around their necks, this is an all too familiar ritual for Windemere Assistant Swim Coach Courtney Mudd, who at age 20 still embraces early morning swim practice as her normal routine. Part of the Mudd family swimming dynasty, she began her career on days just like these, swimming six and under at Legends Pool before quickly advancing to join brother Austin’s and sister Emily’s trailblazing as swimmers for Southeastern Swim Club, all while continuing the momentum for younger sibling Natalie. The entire Mudd family has had one foot in the pool for one reason or another for the past decade and they have excelled while doing it.
Austin Mudd was first introduced to the sport back in 1999 “because he wasn’t good at any other sport and my mom wanted him to learn to swim,” jokes Courtney, who along with her two sisters followed in behind. “My mom would be sitting in the stands chasing us around and thought that maybe we could ALL benefit from ALL the Mudd kids being on the team.” Mom must have known best, as Austin swam his way up the ranks to become a prestigious member of the 2007 HSE HS State Swim Team champions and went on to swim at Ohio Sate where he was a two-time Big Ten finalist and took 16th place in the World Championships in the 200-meter Individual Medley.
Emily’s swimming prowess earned her 4 HSE Varsity letters and landed her a scholarship to swim at Liberty University; Courtney’s high school accolades earned her a spot as a current member of the Ball State swim team, and she’s studying exercise science. Now they are all on deck to support the youngest sibling, Natalie, who is the last Mudd on the move at HSE. She is the current school record-holder in the 100 back and a two-year state finalist. All four Mudds are scholar athletes, both in high school and the three oldest at the collegiate level.
“It’s hard to say why I love swimming, exactly. I just know that without it I would most likely be lost because it has become a part of my everyday life and schedule,” says Courtney in between yelling out directions to the giggling 7- to 8-year-old boy swimmers at the Windemere pool. “I guess I have a passion for it because I found something that I enjoy and that I am good at, so I stuck with it.”
That must be true for the entire clan: even mom Tina Mudd has developed a passion and affinity for the sport as she is the business manager of the Southeastern Swim Club.
What started off as a whim for a mom trying to find a niche for her kid certainly panned out for this Fishers family. Four disciplined, intelligent, giving children emerged who all continue to be involved in the community and in the sport that made them who they are today.