Fort Sill youth 'seals' state swim record
January 17, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. (17 Jan. 2013) -- A member of the Fort Sill Seals competitive youth swim team shattered a state record during a meet at Tusla, Okla., Jan. 13.
Jayden Roy, 17, swam the 200-meter breaststroke in 2 minutes, 49.01 seconds, blasting the old record of 3:11.1, which was set in 2008.
"It's fantastic. It's nothing I ever imagined," said Roy, a senior at Lawton High School, who has only been swimming for two years.
Roy attributed his success to hard work, dedication and "you've got to love the pool," as well as numerous roles models, including Seals head coach Victoria Ward.
"I have an amazing coach who has pushed me through so much to make me much better as a swimmer and a person," said Roy, who stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.
Ward described Jayden as a hard worker and as a team motivater who possesses great morale.
"He will pretty much take any challenge I throw at him in practice," Ward said. "They do some pretty brutal sets, and he leads his lanes."
Roy's father, Sgt. Maj. Martin Roy, 434th Field Artillery Detachment sergeant major, witnessed the record.
"I'm absolutley thrilled as a dad and a coach," said Martin Roy, who serves as a dry lands coach for the Seals. "He swam as close to a perfect swim as anybody has. His turns were almost flawless."
On race day, Jayden said he woke up "feeling really sick." In the race, he was in the block ready to go, but got a terrible start which immediately put him behind his competitors.
He continued to use long strokes, not fast ones, as Ward suggested. At about 50 meters, he had caught up with the leaders and then continually pulled away from them.
Jayden said he started swimming in 2011 as a junior at Lawton High. Two teammates were particarly influential on him: James Knottek and Nick Cotton, who were always pushing him to do his best.
"I don't know what I'd be without them." Jayden said.
Jayden said he would like to swim at the collegiate level and if the opportunity arises to tryout for the Olympics. He's planning a career as a military officer and has political aspirations after that.
Martin Roy added his son's performance was a valdidation of Ward's training program.
"She combined dry land training with the swim program to build endurance strength for the kids," he said.
She also changed the program to meet USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming, requirements.
Martin Roy said the Fort Sill Seals are well received wherever they compete because of its discipline and the quality of the team.
Ward said 18 Seals participated in the Tulsa meet, which was in preparation for a statewide competitition.
"Every single one of the Seals dropped (swim) time in this meet," she said.