On a day when most spring sports in the area became casualties of the chilly fickleness of Mother Nature in April, swimming kept its dependable spot in climate-controlled comfort. Even so, one swimmer recalled a much colder scene.
“I’m glad I have an indoor sport, but I have done a polar bear plunge a couple of times,” said Doherty senior short-distance specialist Trey Reynolds, moments after his team lost a 168-141 decision to Rampart on Wednesday. “It’s definitely mind over matter. If you just go headfirst, you don’t think about how cold it really is.”
Fortunately, no one had to ponder such a proposition at the Rampart pool.
Reynolds won the 50-yard freestyle and anchored a win by his 200 freestyle relay team, but he couldn’t match Rampart senior Thomas Stutzriem, who started his day by helping the Rams claim a victory in the 200 medley relay and later won individual titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
It highlighted a day in which Rampart took eight of the 12 events but didn’t secure the victory until sweeping the top three spots in the 100 breaststroke, the second-to-last event of the dual match.
Stutzriem, a two-event individual qualifier at last season’s 5A state meet, won both of his events with not much of a test. His 7-second victory in the 200 IM was later followed by a 100 breaststroke race in which he touched more than 13 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
In those situations, he made sure not to let down to achieve the best time possible.
“You’ve got get a little angry inside, in a good way,” Stutzriem said. “You race your own race and trust the training you do. In races like that, you don’t race against everyone else. You’ve got to keep on.”
Reynolds competed in a much closer race in the 100 freestyle, losing in his bid to claim a second individual title by 0.01 seconds to Rampart freshman Andrew Weiss.
“I’m glad Andrew kept his nails today,” Rams sixth-year coach Dan Greene quipped.
Weiss touched in 53.00, with Reynolds stopping the clock in 53.01.
“That was definitely my favorite race,” Reynolds said. “That margin is one minor mess-up during the race. I went out there and tried my hardest, but he was just a little better. I have to congratulate him.”
And it was Stutzriem who gave props to guys like Reynolds for a bold decision to willingly leap into certain hypothermia.
“No polar bear plunge for me,” Stutzriem said. “I’ve swam in outdoor pools in certain times of the year, and I think that’s super cold. It’s no fun. I don’t do triathlons for that reason.”
Other individual champs Wednesday were: Michael Johnson, Rampart, 200 freestyle; Austin Wiggins, Doherty, diving; J.J. Massey, Doherty, 100 butterfly; Nick Hammelev, Rampart, 500 freestyle; and Keric Lamb, Rampart, 100 backstroke.