For Good, the diving specialist in the group, joining the swim team was part of his plans for the future. He had been on the middle school team as a seventh grader, but didn’t go out for it in the eighth grade because “I hated it,” he said.
But his desire to follow his father’s footsteps and become a Navy SEAL caused him to rethink his position when he entered high school.
“I did it because I wanted to be a SEAL, and I needed to swim,” Good said.
Cummings went out as a freshman with thoughts of becoming a diver, but after two years, he gave up diving and focused on swimming, which turned out to be a positive move, as he swam at the state tournament last year and has qualified for state in five events this year.
“I decided that swimming was better for me than diving,” Cummings said.
For the rest, it took a little positive peer pressure to get them into the pool.
McKearney said he had always wanted to try swimming, but just hadn’t done it until last year after the cross country season. Good and Cummings recruited him and took him to the old PHS pool to introduce him to competitive swimming prior to the start of the swim season. He enters the competition this week already qualified in four events.
McCauley, Jeffs and Althoff also credited peer pressure with their decision to go out. McCauley and Althoff cited Good as their recruiter, and Jeffs credited all of his friends on the team.
“Cole played a big part in my decision,” McCauley said.
“My friends talked me into it,” Jeffs said.
This week is the swimmers’ last chance to qualify for state and Althoff, McCauley and Jeffs have yet to do so. All three are hoping to shave enough off their times to earn a trip to Gillette. Good who has qualified for state in diving, hopes to drop enough time in the 50-yard freestyle to qualify in that event as well.
All six said they have enjoyed their time on the team and believe it has been good for them.
“It was more challenging than I thought it would be, and that made it more rewarding,” McKearney said.
“I was just learning to swim competitively last year,” Althoff said. “I enjoyed it a lot more this year.”
McKearney said he should have started swimming before his junior year, and Cummings added that he would have benefited if he had started earlier.
“I wish I would have stuck with it when I started USA (swimming),” Cummings said.
The seniors said this year’s freshman class has played a part in making this season a good one, and asked that they be recognized. The freshmen this year are Edwin Oursler, Nic Tracy, Quin Wetzel and Jakob Bowers, all of whom will swim at state, along with Garrett Hall, Jake MaGill, Mathew Riedhammer and Trevor Zickefoose, who, like the seniors, will be aiming to join the state qualifiers this weekend.
Editor's Note: This version of the story corrects Cole Good's first name and corrects the spelling of Trevor Zickefoose.