Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

This week's Peak Performer: Blake Lawrie, Discovery Canyon swimming

by Justin Shaw preps@gazette.com - Published: April 21, 2014

Blake Lawrie has lived a lot of different places, but it appears he's found a home on the Discovery Canyon swimming team.

The junior is part of a military family and has been everywhere from Ohio to Oklahoma to England. When he moved to Colorado Springs a year ago and enrolled at Discovery Canyon, he instantly made an already solid team even better.

"Blake is one of the strongest leaders we've had on the team in our five years of existence, which says a lot," Discovery Canyon coach Terre Christensen said. "He moved here from Kansas and became a part of the team like he had always been here, which is a testament to how genuine he is. He's been assertive in getting to know the guys and being a leader on the team."

Lawrie was elected as the junior representative, a position his teammates voted on, and is both a vocal leader and someone who leads by example.

Last week, Lawrie won the 100 freestyle, 200 free and swam the opening leg for the winning 200-medley relay team in a dual meet against Air Academy.

He followed that by winning the 50 free and 100 backstroke at the Hornet Invite at Pueblo County over the weekend, plus aided the 200-medley relay to another win Saturday to help the Thunder place second in the team standings out of 14 teams.

"This season has been a great experience, and these teams we're facing really bring out the best in me and my teammates," Lawrie said. "We've learned to work very well as a team, and we have some very talented swimmers and they're great to be around."

Lawrie isn't your typical swimmer. He didn't start swimming until he was in seventh grade, and has mixed his love of the pool with his love of the gridiron. Lawrie is a defensive end and running back on the football team. He began swimming as a way to stay in shape for football.

"I had taken some swimming lessons before, and when winter came around I wanted to stay in shape," Lawrie said. "Football and swimming are so different because in football you want to have more muscle mass and in swimming you want to be leaner."

He has balanced the two sports well, and is now one of the top swimmers in Class 4A. Lawrie is ranked in the top eight in the state in all four of his individual events, yet has stayed grounded and remained a great teammate.

"We lost some significant people to graduation last year, and when we learned Blake had moved to town we were all excited about it," Christensen said. "I can't speak enough about all of the guys on our team; they're a bunch of mature and smart guys and our whole culture is about the team. You can only be as strong as the weakest link on the team, and Blake has helped us to promote that."

Lawrie says he's finished moving and will graduate from Discovery Canyon next spring. While he has received some interest from some Division II and Division III colleges, right now he's focused on his grades and being the best swimmer he can.

"I think we feel very confident and we work well together and practice very hard every day," Lawrie said. "Coach is preparing us to swim our best heading into the end of the season, and we're excited."

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