By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Owen Nye is making the most of his time in the pool, reaching a national level of recognition.
“I feel like with swimming, every day of training is what you get out of it,” the Burlington teenager said.
Nye has been excelling with that, becoming the first Burlington Christian Academy student to participate in a national meet earlier this month.
Nye, a junior, specializes in distance freestyle events.
In the Speedo Winter Junior Championships in Greensboro, Nye competed in the 500-yard freestyle, 1,650 freestyle, and on a relay.
Nye was coming off setting personal bests in the North Carolina Capital Classic in Cary, where he posted times of 47.76 in the 100 freestyle, 1:41.81 in the 200 freestyle, 4:29.80 in the 500 freestyle, 9:26.41 in the 1,000 freestyle and 15:47.52 in the 1,650 freestyle. He won the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 competitions.
Nye holds every BCA individual record, clicking those off since middle school. He won a North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship last season in the 500 freestyle.
Nye, 16, has been involved with several groups within the Alamance Swim Association. He spent time with the youth teams at Olde Forest Racquet Club in Elon, Dogwood Swim Club in Mebane and the YMCA/Burlington Aquatic Club Hurricanes.
Since then, he has been with the year-round age-group team with the Greensboro Community YMCA.
“It was a bigger team and more people to chase down in practice and that’s important to me,” Nye said.
It’s a significant commitment. During the week, he goes to Greensboro to swim four times prior to school and then returns for evening workouts.
“I love having something other than school,” Nye said. “It’s very calming. I’m tired, but I know it was a good workout.”
Through all this, he recently finished a semester of Spanish class through Alamance Community College.
BCA athletics director Rene Neff said Nye’s accomplishments have been a source of pride for the school and that his sportsmanship and character have been among the positives.
Nye’s swimming began at an early age. He said his father, Ben Nye, felt it was important to learn to swim, perhaps because of his own background. Ben was a college swimmer at the University of Vermont, holding records for that team.
Owen Nye, the only child of Ben and Mindy Nye, has been a BCA student since elementary school. He said swimming has always been his passion.
He already has surpassed some of the times that his father posted in college. Among his goals will be trying to reset his school records with better times this winter.
“Set them as high as I can,” he said. “It would never be bad if they’re broken.”