Swimming Through Life
Brent Curtis admits that seemingly never-ending swimming practice gets tiring. But then he wraps his mind around his goals—to improve as an individual swimmer and to help make his team better—and quickly regains his energy.
"It always helps me to get through," the 17-year-old Curtis said.
Instead of resting on his accomplishments from last year—going to state competition for two team relays and two individual events—he focuses on doing even better next year.
"I’d like to place really high at state in my events—as high as I can basically," said Curtis, adding that freestyle and breaststroke are his two best events. "I’d like to have the whole team [at Cary-Grove] do well and be the best in the Fox Valley Conference again."
Love at First Dive
Curtis began swimming year-round at age 9. While living in North Carolina, he swam and competed for a country club team.
"It was mostly for fun," he said. "I loved it from the start."
At one swim meet, he did exceptionally well and knew he wanted to keep it up.
"I realized I wanted to get even better," he said.
As a freshman at Cary-Grove he made the varsity team, which meant a more rigorous practice schedule. When he started suffering from tendonitis in his shoulder and broke his ankle, he was forced to sit out most of that first season.
"After that, I really paid attention to stretching and icing my shoulder," he said, calling the tendonitis a rookie mistake. "I was not paying attention to what I should have been—which is stretching before and after practice."
This summer, he swims with the Patriotic Aquatic Club out of Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. The team competes around the Midwest and other spots around the country.
Swimming in college—with his sights on the University of Indiana and the University of Missouri—is a main goal for Curtis. The swim teams from both schools are in the top 25 in the country. This summer, he hopes to meet with coaches from those colleges. Curtis wants to major in either business or journalism.