Pool Sharks: Austin swimmers have made big strides

Published 7:45 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It’s hard to get faster if you’re not chasing anyone, but that hasn’t a problem for a group of Packer swimmers who have been doing some pretty big things this season.

Those swimmers have served as each other’s motivation in practice and on meet days and it has paid off in a big way.

Austin’s Trey Myers, Rafe Dolan Peterson, Logan Kelly, Aaron Knoll have recorded top-ten times in AHS history in all three relays this season and the group has also contributed to four other top-ten finishes in individual events.

Rafe Dolan Peterson swims in the 200-yard medley for the Austin boys swimming and diving team in Bud Higgins pool. Herald File Photo

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Kelly is already the AHS record holder in the 100 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley and now the Austin 200 yard medley relay team is hoping to get on the record board as well as it is just three seconds from the all-time Packer mark.

“Our goal is to break that 200 record by the end of the season,” Myers said. “We know we can break it by the end. That’s our goal.”

While Austin hasn’t won a lot of dual meets this season, the top-four swimmers are often finishing near the top of their events. Sometimes, just like in practice, they’re chasing each other for first place.

“We always race each other in practice and that helps. We’re always right next to each other,” Dolan Peterson said. “Everybody always cheers each other on in meets. It’s actually awesome.”

Austin head coach Ryan Kelly said that he doesn’t have any trouble motivating his top swimmers. All he has to do is line them up next to each other in the pool and they’ll go to work.

“There’s an internal competition with them and I think that’s been a really cool thing to see,” Ryan said. “They try to best each other as much as they can. You get in practice and you see one right next to the other. They’re all trying to push and beat one another. It’s just a competitive atmosphere and it’s pushed all four of them.”

Logan, a sophomore, didn’t waste any time making school history as he was able to break two school records as a freshman. After taking a little while to adjust, he’s now used to seeing his name above the pool in practice and he’s able to focus on swimming.

Trey Myers swims in the backstroke portion of the 200-medley relay for Austin. Herald File Photo

“At first it was a little daunting, but now I’ve just kind of learned to live with it,” Logan said.

Logan and his teammates will have a big meet this weekend when Austin will host the Section 1A True Team Meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The Packers will have a chance to see where they stand against some solid swimmers.

“I’m excited for true team, because I’ll get to see some people who are a little bit faster than I’ve seen this season,” Logan said. “I can pace off of them.”

It’s been a big year for the four Packer swimmers who have been swimming together for a long time now. Knoll said it’s been a season that he’s embraced.

“It’s been a lot of fun. Representing Austin has been awesome,” Knoll said. “It’s hard to describe. Once you get up there and you see your times and you realize how fast you really are, it’s great.”

The Packers are good in the pool now and they could be even better next year as all four swimmers will likely be back in the lineup again next season.

“The sky is the limit right now. We’ve just got to keep getting better every day,” Ryan said. “If they keep working hard and stay focused they can do some really nice things and their names can be splattered all over that record book by the time it’s all said and done. They’ve got some talent and if they can keep their drive, it will be fun to watch.”

Closing in on History

Trey Myers, Logan Kelly, Rafe Dolan Peterson and Aaron Knoll have already broke into the top-10 in AHS history in several events this season.

200-medley relay: The team of Myers, Kelly, Dolan Peterson and Knoll have the third best time in program history at 1:42.03.

200-freestyle relay: Myers, Kelly, Dolan Peterson and Knoll have the 10th best time in program history at 1:32.08.

400-freestyle relay: Myers, Kelly, Dolan Peterson and Knoll have the 10th best time in program history at 13:33.16.

50-freestyle: Kelly has the eight best time in program history at 22.66 and Dolan Peterson has the 10th best time in program history at 22.79.

500-freestyle: Kelly has the third best time in program history with a 4:58.58.

100-backstroke: Dolan Peterson has the fourth best time in program history at 56.23.