When Jamestown senior Colin Wright reflects on his high school swimming career, his first gold medal last year at states shines brightest.
Wright, the 2016 Virginia Gazette Boys Swimmer of the Year, didn't even swim competitively as an eighth- or ninth-grader.
His first gold came junior year in the 50 free in a race he didn't own the top time entering.
"All of my teammates were on the side of the pool jumping up and down and cheering," Wright said. "Then after the race, when I walked over to the team, they bowed to me as a joke. It felt great to have of my friends and teammates supporting me."
A year later, high school competition wrapped and Wright earned four more gold medals in addition to the team state title the Eagles earned after they finished runner-up the year prior.
Wright's individual golds this year came in the 50 and 100 free as well as the 200 free relay with Corey Shideler, Jaq de Leo and Ben vanTasel and the 400 free relay with Shideler, vanTasel and Ryan Boll.
"The highlight of the year was states, our last meet together," Wright said. "Everyone swam well and it was a perfect end to the season."
"The past teams have been super-close," Wright said, "and as an underclassmen I was able to learn from the upperclassmen about creating the team spirit and environment that makes our team so great. Our upperclassmen this year were great guys and my close friends, and we got everyone excited about states. Our team this year was really not that much different from our past teams, except that this year everyone had their goal set on winning states."
Wright set a state record in the 50 free at 20.98 seconds.
Since the end of the high school season, he has dropped that 50 free mark to 20.73. That is good news for his future William and Mary team.
"William and Mary has both an academic and swimming program that I knew would challenge me," Wright said, "and I really liked the guys on the team. I will be most likely be focusing on 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, and 100 fly at William and Mary, but I could find different events that I'm better at in college."
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.