Garrison revels in chance to return to the water

Hans Garrison practices the freestyle on Thursday.

Photo by Lukas Eggen
Hans Garrison practices the freestyle on Thursday.

DALLAS — When freshman Hans Garrison joined Dallas’ swim team, it was a moment he had waited years for.

“I haven’t gotten to swim since fourth grade when I was in Maryland until this year,” he said. “When we moved here, we couldn’t join the aquatic center. I missed swimming, the enjoyment of it.”

The swim team provided Harrison an avenue to get back to what he loved.

Almost immediately, he was reminded why he loves the water.

“It’s like you’re in absolute zero gravity,” Harrison said. “It has this airy feeling to it, like you’re floating.”

Garrison has seen steady improvement in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.

Most recently, Garrison finished the 100 freestyle in 1 minute, 14.77 seconds at Philomath on Jan. 5.

It was a step in the right direction as Garrison looks to recapture his old speeds.

“I really want to get back to the speed I was at,” Garrison said. “I want to get under half a minute for the 50 freestyle and under a minute in the freestyle.”

Competitive swimming has challenged Garrison in new ways. Before, he swam mostly for fun and relaxation.

The swim team has shown him he can push his limits farther.

“It pushes me a lot more than when I swam alone,” Garrison said. “But it’s fun, exciting and enjoyable.”

Coach Mark Maxwell has seen Garrison’s dedication begin to pay off.

“He’s seen some big improvements from his hard work,” Maxwell said.

That dedication has come at a price — mainly some late nights finishing schoolwork after a tiring practice.

“The two hours taken out of my day cuts down on how much homework I have time for,” Garrison said. “It’s me staying up until about midnight doing homework in order to swim.”

But those sacrifices are minor.

“Yeah, it’s worth it,” he said. “Just being in the water, it’s an enjoyable feeling.”

The Dragons will compete at Taft Thursday at 4 p.m.

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