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York Suburban junior swimmer Erin Merkle took some time out of preparing for next week's PIAA championships to chat with us.

It is noon on Saturday. What are you typically doing?

Well, usually I would have just gotten out of swim practice, so I am either eating, catching up with friends, or catching up on homework.

If you could have dinner with any three people, past, present or in the future, who would you choose and why?

Justin Bieber- I am just a typical Justin Bieber fan.

Brady Quinn- I am a big Notre Dame football fan so growing up I had a huge crush on him.

George Washington- I think it would be cool to say that I had dinner with the first president. I also think that it would be an interesting conversation.

If you could switch places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

Mia Hamm- I used to play soccer and I think that it would be cool to experience a different sport for a day and experience being a pro athlete and see what comes along with that.

What T.V. show needs to make a comeback?

Hey Arnold. It is a classic cartoon for me when I was little.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for a month, where would it be?

Ireland- I am Irish and I used to Riverdance. I hear it is beautiful out there.

Who was your favorite teacher, past or present and why?

This is tough. I have had a lot of good teachers. I would have to say  my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kopetski I enjoyed school and it was a great start to my learning. I remember wanting to be just like her.

Why did you start swimming?

I started competitively at 6 years old. My older brother swam when I was younger and he was really good. I used to go to his meets and just watch. Well that started getting boring, so my parents and I talked and said instead of sitting and watching, why don't I swim.

What events do you swim?

I swim the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, and both relays. Last year I did the 500 freestyle, but decided this year to do the backstroke instead.

Do you have any crazy superstitions?

I have a good luck stuffed animal that I bring with me to all my meets.

What does the experience of going to states the past two years do to help prepare you this year?

It is definitely very beneficial. The past two years, I was nervous and one of the younger swimmers. I was just happy to be there. Now I want to be more competitive. The experience definitely helps me stay calm.

Thanks Erin for joining us, and good luck at states!

Click here to read previous athlete spotlights.

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