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Athlete Highlight: Daniel Worth

Two students posing for a photo outside while holding a plaque

Come take a look inside the lives of Olympic Trials swimmer and Lee’s Summit native, Daniel Worth, and LSN coach, Thomas Faulkenberry!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SWIMMING, AND WHAT INITIALLY DREW YOU TO THE SPORT?
I have been swimming competitively for about six years, and I swam rec league a couple of years before that, too.  Both my siblings did the rec league in my neighborhood, and I wanted to be like them, so I joined the team.

YOU BROKE A NEARLY 30-YEAR HIGH SCHOOL RECORD IN THE 100 BREASTSTROKE THIS PAST WEEKEND. WAS BREAKING THAT TIME A GOAL OF YOURS? HOW DID YOU MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY PREPARE FOR THAT RACE?
That time has been a motivator for me for the last two years. Last year I missed it by three-tenths of a second at state, and that pushed me to make it my goal to see how much I could beat it by. Mentally and physically, I did a lot to prepare for that throughout the season. The training I put in this season was the best I have ever done, and I knew what it was going to be like to execute a good race.

HOW DID THE RACE FEEL DURING THE RACE? AND HOW DID YOU FEEL AFTER YOU TOUCHED THE WALL AND LOOKED AT YOUR TIME?The race felt great. I felt powerful throughout the entire race, and all of my technique work I have put in this past couple of months came together during the race, and I felt like I was going pretty fast. I knew I had broken the record because as soon as I touched the wall, the whole Aquatic Center erupted, and everyone started going crazy. I was pretty excited when I saw the time because I had finally got the record and it was a big-time drop from my best.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT JEFF COMMINGS, WHO ORIGINALLY HELD THE RECORD, WAS IN THE AUDIENCE. WHAT WAS HAVING HIM THERE AND MEETING HIM LIKE?
Missing the record last year was a big motivator to make me push myself harder when I trained because I knew how much I wanted that record. Jeff being there was super cool. I finally got to meet him, and it was cool; he was supporting me on my swim. It’s awe-inspiring how incredible that time was in 1991 and how long it took for someone to break it, but it was cool for him to be there to congratulate me.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRAINING. HOW OFTEN DO YOU SWIM? DO YOU SWIM WITH A CLUB, IN ADDITION TO HIGH SCHOOL?
I train with my club team nine months out of the year, and the three months of the high school season, I train with the high school team. I train in the pool nine times a week, and I lift in addition to that four times a week. It’s a lot of pure strength and power work along with high-speed work to get us used to racing and strengthen our aerobic capacity.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-RACE OR TRAINING RITUALS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE?
I blast music through my headphones and think about my race strategy.

WHAT’S ON YOUR PRE-RACE PLAYLIST?
Lots of screamo and hype music that gets me going.

OTHER THAN THE 100 BREASTSTROKE, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE RACE OF THE WEEKEND?
Other than my 100 Breaststroke my favorite race of the weekend was the 200 Free Relay. The boys came together, and although we were not the favorites to win, we ended up winning and shattering the overall state record.

WHAT’S NEXT? WHAT IS THE NEXT SWIMMING GOAL YOU WANT TO TACKLE?
Junior Nationals in December. I’m going to try to drop some more time. As for the next high school season, I’m going to set my goal to get the national high school record.

OTHER THAN SWIMMING, WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEAR?
I would say I’m most excited about committing to a college and knowing where I am going to school.

Learn about the LSN swim team

Learn about the Olympic Trials