Port Clinton swimmer inspires classmates at graduation

Columbus, Athens, Armed Forces among landing spots for Port Clinton seniors
Alex Green
Jun 10, 2014

 

green@oc-register.com

If the purpose of a commencement speech is to inspire, who better to provide the message than a champion.

Cheyenne Meek is headed to Ohio State University on a swimming scholarship, though her name will likely come up from time-to-time at Port Clinton High School.

She reeled in countless records during her four years, and even though much of her time was spent in the pool, she was also valedictorian of her class.

"We are all taking something with us on this journey," Meek said. "Each of us leaves here today with a different foundation that will guide us as we move on to the next stages of our lives."

The ceremony saw 134 students turn the tassel Saturday amid sunny conditions at True-Lay Stadium Saturday.

Elise Zeitzheim and Noah Cross were among that number, and they too gave speeches Saturday.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we are better for having been here together," Zeitzheim said. "And I wish you all the very best in the future."

Cross' message was about staying true to one's identity, and not letting negative factors or other people decide their fate.

"Do not worry about how other people think of you because in the end all that matters is how we view ourselves," he said. "Go through life with a smile on your face and don't worry about what you can't control."

Zeitzheim will attend Ohio University as Cross is prepared to attend Butler University.

A strong number of students will stay in state, attending Ohio State, Ohio University, University of Toledo, Kent State and Bowling Green.

A handful have decided they will serve their country as they also pursue a degree.

Darryl Trent will join the U.S. Army as his close friend Don Miller will join the U.S. Marine Corps.

Trent said he was inspired by Miller and another friend who are joining the armed forces.

"A friend said he was joining," Trent said. "I thought I would too."

For Miller, his service will be another branch on the family tree.

Past generations of family members have served, and he will continue the legacy.

"My past family members served, I thought it was the right thing to do," Miller said.

Trent will receive his initial training in Missouri, then eventually Texas for his specialty training in firefighting.

Miller's path is not as clear yet, though he said he's excited to see where it takes him.