BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The high school swim season starts in just seven days, and it’s in the pool that we find this week’s Honda Athlete of the Week, Bridgeport’s Randy Keener.
The Bridgeport boys swim team will once again be one of the top units in the state this season, and they’ll be led by the junior standout.
Keener captured a trio of state titles last year — the 100 backstroke, 200 IM, and the 400 freestyle relay.
“Our relay at the end, that was the big harping point. I wanted to try and win two relays,” said Keener. “And, our first one got DQ’d, so, it is what it is. The second one was kind of a culmination of everything we went through together last year. Everyone else just did their part, and it was a lot of fun. And relays are way better than individuals.”
It’s the relay that got away from he and his group last year that has Keener motivated entering this season; not only for himself, but for the relay unit as a whole.
“I definitely want to try to get those two relay wins. That would be another big part. And if we could get another state record in one of them and sent Marcel and Luke and Reed off with a state record so they can be permanently stuck in some book somewhere, then, yeah that’d be fun.”Randy Keener, Bridgeport swim junior
Last year’s state swim meet — held 369 days from today — was the last competitive meet Keener swam in.
“I haven’t swam in a high school meet since last end of February, beginning of March,” said Keener when we spoke earlier this week. “So, I mean, it’s been basically a year. It’s about time that we get to start racing. Hopefully I get to see some of the work pay off. I haven’t swam a 200 IM since February.”
Despite that, Keener feels good about the shape he’s in.
He’ll be able to take advantage of what coach, Wendy Madden, described as his ‘innate feel for the water.’ it’s a special gift that, combined with the rest of the standouts on this team, could have keener collecting more hardware this season.