Austin swimmer is stepping it up this summer
Published 8:24 pm Thursday, July 30, 2015
Austin swimmer Ben Walker has made some big strides this summer and he came through with a strong performance at the state FoxJet Longcourse Championships in the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Thursday.
Walker, who is swimming for Atlantis Swim Academy, finished 22nd in the 100-meter butterfly with a summer’s best time of 1:55 at the meet. He beat his previous best time of the summer by two seconds.
Walker qualified for the state meet by taking first in the Midwest Regional in Winona recently. During the summer he doesn’t just race against high school swimmers, Walker is also swimming against college swimmers.
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“It’s not just high school swimmers any more and you get to compete at that higher level,” Walker said. “I was looking for this to keep me in shape, but this is doing more than keeping me in shape. It’s pushing me to be way better than I was last year even.”
Walker, who will be a senior this Fall, took fourth place in the Minnesota Class A state meet in the 100-yard butterfly and he also swam in the Class A state meet as a sophomore. Walker felt confident after he got on the podium at the Class A meet last year, but he said swimming with Atlantis this summer has made him hungry to get faster in the pool.
“That was a confidence booster and this will help keep me back down in my place where I should be,” Walker said. “I don’t think I’m as nervous [swimming] as I was my first year at state. But there still are some nerves involved.”
Walker is now thinking about the possibility of swimming in college. When he was growing up, he didn’t jump right into swimming but now he’s taking it more seriously.
“I’m glad I didn’t get into it really early like some kids do,”Walker said. “I’ve been progressing with it slowly and slowly getting more and more into it. It’s getting really, really fun.”