CEDAR RAPIDS — Sometimes, an athlete knows when it might not be their day.
Unfortunately for Cedar Rapids Washington distance swimmer Jeremy Throndson, that day last season came at the state meet. He had impressive wins and top-five seed times in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in helping the Warriors win the district title.
The following week at state, Throndson ended up ninth in the 500 and 16th in the 200 with times that didn’t match his district numbers.
“Honestly, I think it was just the nerves going into the meet,” he said. “One big difference between districts and state was the morning before. At districts, I had a great meal with the team and I felt ready. At state, I had a great meal with the team, but I just couldn’t shake the nerves. When we were warming up in the pool, I just never felt loose and I didn’t feel ready.
“At the end of the day, I knew I wanted to do better. I wanted to do better for my team and not let them down, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Veteran Warriors Coach Chris Cruise believes Throndson can turn last year’s disappointment into this season’s motivation.
“We’re sure hoping (Jeremy) got some positive experiences out of not going as fast as he wanted to,” Cruise said. “I think life is a lot about what you do and how you handle it when things don’t go the way you were hoping they would go.
“Jeremy did some things this fall that may not look like positive things because he hasn’t been in the pool as much. He got outside the sport a little bit by doing cross country. It gave him a little different prospective on things and will really pay big dividends for him in the long run as it pertains to our season.”
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Because of the time he put in during the club swimming season, Throndson was able to approach the start of the high school season a little differently.
“Because the high school season is so short, you spend a lot of time simply building strength,” he said. “One of the luxuries of the club season is having time to work on your technique, learning how to swim smarter and more efficiently.”
The Warriors open their season Tuesday night, hosting a four-team Metro meet against Jefferson, Kennedy and Linn-Mar. Throndson wants to set a tone for the team right from the start.
“I do feel like it is my time and my fellow seniors’ time,” he said. “We’ve looked up to and had the privilege of swimming with some amazing people in the past. We hope to inspire this year’s new swimmers as much as we were inspired when we were freshmen.”
Throndson, who plans to swim collegiately but has yet to commit, is keenly aware of Washington’s rich swimming history.
“Being part of the Washington swim team has been such an honor,” he said. “If I could get my name as a part of that legacy, it would be an amazing experience.”