Once he broke the Cottage Grove High School 100-yard butterfly record at the 4A state meet on Feb. 18, Lions senior Gavin Nash knew he could follow that with a new record in the 200-yard butterfly. The 200 fly is not a part of a regular high school swim meet, so Nash had to swim it in the Oregon senior championships, which were held Feb. 25 in Gresham. Swimming against the top high schoolers, and even some college-age swimmers, Nash not only won the 200 butterfly, he smashed the all-time Cottage Grove mark of 1:57.27 set by Brian Flick 31 years ago in 1981. Nash broke the record in the preliminaries, then crushed it the next day with a time 1:55.04.
“The 200 is actually easier for me; I like it better, because I’m more of a distance swimmer,” said Nash. “Judging by what I did in my 100 fly, I knew I could do it. I’m so much better at long distance, I can almost even split, doing the second half as fast as the first half. Once I got my 100 time down, I knew I could do it.”
At 6-feet, one-inch and 190 pounds, with broad shoulders and a 32-inch waist, it would appear that Nash has a perfect body for swimming. Not so, according to Nash.
"Being broad-shouldered isn’t really good for swimming,"said Nash. "You’re supposed to have long arms and long legs with narrow shoulders."
At the meet in Gresham, Nash also took first and second in two other events. He came pretty close to the Cottage Grove 400 individual medley club record, winning with a time of 4:12. The CG record was set by Sean Taylor (4:07), also in 1981. Nash had the second-fastest time in the 500 freestyle with a 4:49. The CG record was 4:36.02 set by Kipp Dye in 1981.
Nash gives a lot of credit to his record-breaking year, as well as the Lions' team success, to his coach, Bud Taylor.
"The last two years he (Taylor) has been awesome," said Nash. " If you look at the guys we have, there’s no way we should have been as good as we were. Other coaches have looked at us and said, 'wow, who are those guys? You have guys dropping 10-15 seconds in the championship meet.' He’s just there all the time. We had 34 workouts over Christmas break and that helped."
An interesting piece of trivia is that Nash's mother went to the CGHS prom with Tim Corzine, the Lion swimmer who set the 100 butterfly record in 1989, and held it until Nash broke it at the 4A meet.
Nash carries a 3.93 GPA with history being his favorite subject. If he does not swim at Pacific University, he plans on competing on the Oregon State crew team next fall.For the complete article see the 03-14-2012 issue.
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