Every year the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) recognizes the top 30 swimmers nationally from indedependent schools and the top 100 swimmers nationally from public schools as “High School All-America”. At the beginning of each season, they establish two time standard for each event – a time at which a swimmer is considered for All-America and a time at which is a swimmer is automatically All-America.
On Friday night at Woodberry Forest School, Kevin Koehr swam 100-backstroke in 51.48, beating the automatic All-America time of 52.52 by more than a second. We will not know how that ranks him nationally this season until after the season. Had he swum that time last year, it would have been the 12th fastest time in the nation for a high school swimmer from an independent school – and we haven’t hit the championship meets yet.
It was a tremendous swim that also beat the Woodberry Forest pool record by 1.90 seconds! To put that in perspective, Woodberry Forest has won the state championship 7 times in the last 10 years and they swim against the top high school teams in the Mid-Atlantic. Some very fast swimmers has been in that pool. The former record was held by a swimmer from Mercersburg Academy, a swimming powerhouse and boarding school in Pennsylvania.
On deck for the swim was the famous former NCAA coach from North Carolina State, Don Easterling. Coach Easterling has retired, but helps out with the Woodberry team. He has coached 17 ACC championship teams and at least 3 olympic swimmers. He rushed up to me after Kevin’s swim and said, “Where is that backstroker of yours? That was a perfect race! I was just droolin’! (no kidding – that’s what he said). I haven’t seen a backstroke like that in years!”. I’d say that was pretty high praise.
I couldn’t be more proud if he were my own son.
Coach Jim Koehr