Northwest High School's swim team created a team award in honor of fallen swimmer Robert “Bobby” Norr, an athlete who encouraged his teammates to go the distance inside and outside of the pool, his coaches said.
Norr, 20, of Darnestown, was killed in a kayaking accident Sunday, Jan. 8, in West Virginia, spurring an outpouring of grief from the community of athletes he mentored and coaches who watched him grow. Norr was a long-distance swimmer for the Jaguars all four years of high school. He also coached for the Darnestown Swim Team.
A memorial service for Norr was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 13 in Gaithersburg, the North Potomac-Darnestown Patch reported.
In the days following his death, Northwest’s swim team decided to create an award that acknowledged distance swimmers who lived up to Norr’s legacy, Jaguar swim coach Amy Spady said.
“He always gave 110 percent,” said Spady, who coached Norr during his junior and senior years at Northwest. “The kids got that.”
At Northwest, Norr competed in the 500-meter freestyle, an event Spady said demands mental and physical toughness. Norr went on to swim for Frostburg State University. “Distance swimming hurts,” Spady said.
“It’s not a big thrill event. It’s not for someone seeking glory.”
Athletic Director Jim Tapley said Norr was the type of athlete other student athletes looked up to, the reason his teammates chose him to be the recipient of the Jaguar Award in 2009. The Jaguar Award is given to student athletes who best represent their sport on and off the field, Tapley said.
"I hope people remember exactly who he was," Tapley said. "He was a really good kid."
Norr also competed in lacrosse and cross country at Northwest. Assistant cross country coach Paul Bauer helped train Norr during the four years he ran for the Jaguars.
“This is a young man that had a great potential, a very, very good young man,” Bauer said. “I think he could have done a great number of things in this world.”