One swimmer wanted to break his own school record. Another swimmer wanted to make the most out of his only year swimming on the team. Another wanted to one-up his brother. And one just wanted to continue to add to the legacy they had started the previous season.
All of them were able to accomplish their chosen goals last Saturday. Now, with the biggest meet ahead of them, the four Carroll boys swimming State qualifiers are ready to break more goals at tomorrow’s State meet in Iowa City.
Throughout the season Carroll’s swimmers had been fast. When it came time for the district swim meet, one swimmer was so fast he broke two school records, without even thinking one was a possibility.
Trevor Danner qualified in four different events for Saturday’s State swim meet, the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. He will also be the anchor leg of the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay events.
All of this will come just one week after he set two school records at the district meet. He started by accomplishing a year-long goal in breaking his own school record in the 50-yard freestyle event.
“In the 50 I was worried about the record all season,” Danner said. “I’ve been close to that all season, so my goal was to continue to try and be as close to the record as I could. To be able to beat my own record at that meet was pretty amazing.”
After catching his breath, Danner returned to the pool for the 100-yard freestyle event. Once again he broke the school record (though this time it wasn’t his own).
“In the 100 free, I don’t know, that one wasn’t as stressful for me,” Danner said. “I just had a feeling that I was going to be able to get that one, and it was pretty neat to see the time.”
He had been able to set two school records in one meet, and as a junior he still has time to bring his own records even lower. Especially at tomorrow’s meet in Iowa City.
“It’s the fastest pool I’ve ever swam in,” Danner said, having swam at the Iowa City pool before in USA Swimming and also last year’s State swim meet (when he placed ninth in the 50-yard freestyle event).
It didn’t sink in until late this week that with him swimming in the fastest heats (he is seeded sixth overall in the 50-yard freestyle event and seventh overall in the 100-yard event) that his own, fairly new records could be in jeopardy.
“Two of my own school records?” Danner thought out loud. “It’d be crazy to be able to say that I’ve done that.”
Overall the junior is excited, but calm about his chances at Saturday’s meet. He knows he’ll be in the fastest heat so he’ll have to swim his fastest times. While a win would be his ultimate goal, his overall goal for the State meet are realistic.
“I’m stoked to be in the top-10. I just wanted to do better than I did last year when I got ninth overall in the 50,” Danner said. “To be seeded sixth overall is pretty wild, to know that I could podium in that race. To be seventh in my first year in the 100 is pretty wild too, I know I have a shot to podium there again. It’d be nice to be able to podium in both of those events.”
Danner is a junior, so he’ll have numbers to chase and more goals to set during his senior season.
For Philipp Fohrenbach, this is his only shot at the State tournament. Although he’s listed as a sophomore Fohrenbach is visiting America from Germany. Since he is a foreign exchange student, this year is his chance to chase his dreams of swimming against Iowa’s best this weekend.
Fohrenbach has always been a swimmer, so when he came to America and Panorama High School in Panora, the first thing he did was try to find the swim team. Since Carroll is the closest team with a swim team, Fohrenbach would have to make hour drives, both ways to practice.
On his first day of practice the sophomore told his coach, Deb Danner, exactly what he wanted out of this season.
“My first day I went to Deb (Danner, the head coach) and told her I wanted to go to State,” Fohrenbach said. “She helped me work on some of my swims and everything. We accomplished it, and I couldn’t be happier.”
During Saturday’s district meet Fohrenbach was the third swimmer on both relays and he helped the Tigers qualify to the State meet, officially fulfilling his day one goals.
“It makes me very happy,” Fohrenbach said, a smile growing across his face. “It’s just cool to come here and go to the State tournament.”
One of the things that has helped the sophomore survive the two-hour drives to and from practice is the relationship he has with the team.
He may attend a different high school, but that doesn’t matter. The Carroll swim team is a conglomerate of different high schools that all compete under the Carroll name. Also, they are all pretty good friends.
“We have a very good team chemistry,” Fohrenbach said. “We work together very well and we work hard at practices. It makes it a lot of fun to be together especially at practices. Even though I live farther away, I look forward to coming to practices each and every day.”
And especially this week, Fohrenbach has had even more motivation to drive to and from Carroll after school.
“Trevor and Jon I’ve known them for a long time,” Ben Englin said. “We have a lot of communication between us. We know that we can push each other and joke with each other when we need to. We can encourage each other too. So I could hear one of them telling me to go faster, and I’ll push myself a little more because I know they have my back.”
Ben Englin doesn’t have quite as a far drive to get to practice. He attends South Central Calhoun in Lake City, but like Fohrenbach, he’s been a little extra eager to get to practice this week.
A lot of it is because he is making family history at this Saturday’s State meet.
Englin has always been a swimmer, and he watched as his brother came so close to being a part of the State swimming team during his time swimming in Carroll.
“Me being me I have always been competitive with my older brother, who scored, but never was able to go onto State,” Englin said.
That’s what made Saturday’s district meet so memorable. The two relays that Englin was in, the 200 and 400 were fast, but they had to compare the finishes to the rest of the state results.
It finally came in during dinner, and that’s when Englin found out he was going to State for the first time in family history.
“When I first found out that both were going I was overwhelmed with joy,” Englin said. “The first thing I was able to do was tell my mom. The next thing I did was tell my brother, and, yeah, it definitely felt good to tell him I was going to State.”
For the first member of both relay teams, Jonathan Dose, this will be his second consecutive year at the State swim meet. As a freshman he was able to swim in relay events, but in a much different role.
A season ago, Dose was the third swimmer of the relay. His job was to continue to pace the Tigers well, and make up any ground he could so that the anchor leg could close the gap.
This year Dose has transitioned into a much different role. He is now the starter for both the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay events.
Although he will be in a different role this year Dose will be more comfortable with the meet. At least compared to how he felt about the meet last year as a freshman.
“Last year I was really nervous. I didn’t really know what was going on,” Dose said. “I didn’t even know the schedule of the meet or what was happening. This year I’ll be more ready and more prepared. The biggest thing is I’ll know what to expect this year.”
Knowing what to expect (and the schedule so he’ll know when he needs to get ready for the race) will help calm his nerves, Dose said.
Another thing about starting the race is Dose doesn’t have to be quite as precise with his movements. Last year he had to time his relay exchange just right. This year he doesn’t have to worry about the swimmer coming into him. As the starter he just needs to get his team off on a fast pace.
“I don’t have to worry about the relay exchange this year. I just have to go out and swim my legs as best I can. Just working on getting that lead for my teammates.”
They may be four individual swimmers but as a team they are relaxed and composed. One thing that helps keep them relaxed and composed is their ability to work together. They know what they are capable of, and they are more than ready to accomplish their goals one more time this season.
“It is so important to have a good connection with the guys you’re swimming with,” Trevor Danner said. “Having all the guys there will be able to relax me and hopefully them.”