Expectations High for Elwell After Impressive Freshman Season

Elwell competing at last years District meet, where he won CVC titles in 100 breast, 200 free as well as the 200 free relay.
Elwell competing at last year’s District meet, where he won CVC titles in 100 breast, 200 free as well as the 200 free relay.
Johnny Owens

Colin Elwell finished his freshman swim season competing in four events at the state tournament, proving he has the potential to be one of the best swimmers in school history.

Coming into his freshman year, expectations were already high for Elwell, as he really started to improve rapidly during his middle school seasons. He exceeded the expectations as he became one of the top swimmers on the team as a freshman.

Elwell started swimming competitively for the Beachwood swim club in third grade. He has swam competitively every year since then, but he rapidly improved in middle school and into his freshman year. 

“Every athlete progresses about the same, some just do it a lot slower,” Coach Brad Burget said. “It takes a while for them to figure out they’re good at something and figure out they can work for it. [Elwell] understands that it takes a lot of work and failure before you start to succeed.”

One factor in Elwell’s improvement was growing physically.

“He has the perfect swimmer build,” senior swimmer Dylan Ornstein said, “He shot up in a growth spurt.” 

Last year Elwell was a state qualifier for the 500 yard freestyle, finishing 29th; 200 yard medley relay, finishing 11th; 200 freestyle relay, finishing 14th; and 400 freestyle relay, finishing 17th. 

The fact that he made states in four events as a freshman, two of them being individual, that’s crazy good.

— Coach Brad Burget

“The fact that he made states in four events as a freshman, two of them being individual, that’s crazy good,” Burget said.

“Unlike a lot of other freshmen in swimming, he made it to states and actually competed against the older kids, and he was able to keep up, ” Ornstein said. “That’s something you don’t see everyday with a freshman.“

But Elwell wasn’t satisfied with his performance towards the end of the season.

“I was happy with how fast I went,” Elwell said. “But I got slower during the postseason, which I wasn’t too happy about.”

This season, Elwell has his eye on states again. He looks to improve from last year and to place this year. Even though he didn’t break any school records last year, he was getting close, and this year he is even closer to getting his name on the record board.

“I definitely want to place, hopefully in the top five in states, and get two or three [school] records,” he said.

Elwell has earned the respect of his teammates since he was one of the top swimmers on the team in his freshman year. 

“He has a really good mindset towards swimming, his work ethic is very good,” Ornstein said. “It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. He really pushes himself to be the greatest and it’s turning out to look like …  he’ll do well in states again this year and be a four-time state qualifier.”

Elwell takes every practice seriously.

“I think just push myself in practice and try my best every time I swim,” he said.

“The fact that he’s already broken 50 in the 100 free, and 1:50 in the 200 free, he’s moving,” Burget said. “He’s gotta drop some more time to place top five in states. He does understand that, and he wants to work to achieve those goals.”

Another event that Elwell is looking to be successful in this season is the 500 yard freestyle. He finished 29th in the state last year with his personal best time being 4:59. He looks to not only place well in states this year, but to also break the school record and get his name on the leaderboard, hanging in the pool.

Junior Kevin Zhang also shows great potential this season, already breaking the school record for the 100 yard backstroke. With one more season to go after this year, he really has a chance to lead this team to some impressive state times.

Burget feels that the team this year is very special. Since the team is so young, they have a great deal of potential to grow. 

“The team is really fast this year,” Burget said. “First of all they’re majority sophomores, they’re still getting faster. This last meet, the swimmers who are still developing are really starting to shine. I think next year is gonna be even better with so many people fast and developed. Next year we could have 8-10 guys going to states.”

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