RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Every morning a swimmer faces a choice: get out of the warm bed and into a cold pool or hit the snooze button.
For some swimmers that choice comes before 4:00 AM. According to recent Douglas Freeman High School graduate Will Riggs, a typical day includes miles of swimming, sometimes across multiple sessions, as well as weight lifting and school. Teammate Ted Schubert, a recent Patrick Henry High School graduate, said the first five minutes are the hardest of the day.
Each swimmer goes through this self-inflicted torture to do things like 19-year-old Benedictine College Prep graduate Townley Haas. The Richmond native won the 200-meter freestyle Olympic qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska Tuesday night. Haas automatically qualifies for the 200-meter event as well as the 4×200-meter relay.
Haas’ former coaches at NOVA in Henrico County said Haas’s drive is what separates him from other competitors. As of Tuesday night, his first-time Olympian status separates him from his younger NOVA teammates, but they’re not hitting the snooze button in their quest to catch him any time soon.