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Dunkirk’s Fred qualifies for swim championships

Swimming with the big fish

Dunkirk’s Adam Fred, pictured above during a swim meet, has qualified for USA Swimming’s Eastern Zone Championships, originally scheduled for the beginning of April. The event has been postponed as of now. Submitted Photo.

Dunkirk High School swimmer Adam Fred has certainly made quite a splash on the local swimming scene. Now, he will get to showcase his talents with some of the best in the nation. While swimming with the Hammerheads Swim Club, based out of Fredonia State University, Fred qualified for USA Swimming’s Eastern Zone Championships that were supposed to happen at the beginning of April.

While the event has been postponed like most sporting events world-wide, when Fred does get the chance to compete, he will be swimming against the best swimmers from the Eastern Zone, which goes from Maine to Virginia. The events Fred will be competing in are the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle.

Fred’s best event, the 50-yard freestyle, is what qualified him for the meet. Once you qualify, you get two bonus events. The cut off time for qualification was a time of 24.19, and Fred swam a 23.82. In the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle, Fred was just short of the qualification times, but still made good time. He missed the backstroke by just a second by registering a time of 59.20 and needing a 58.20. For the 100-yard freestyle, he swam a 53.12 and needed a 51.99.

Seven years of competitive swimming is starting to pay off now for Fred, who is now 14 years old, and began swimming competitively with the Hammerheads Swim Club at Fredonia State when he was 7 years old. Fred also competes with the Dunkirk High School swim team, and says that’s where he is able to compete against stiffer competition in higher age groups.

“The high school helps immensely,” stated Fred. “Being surrounded by kids older than me gives more competition. At club I’m swimming against kids my own age.”

Fred competed in his third season for the Marauders and he just keeps getting better and better.

“Right from the time he joined us he’s been one of the top swimmers,” Dunkirk Marauders swim coach Allie Saye said about Adam Fred. “He sets a new goal each year, this year it was sectionals, then next year he’s looking at our record books and to make a state time.”

In order to compete at such a high level, Fred commits most of his time to training, so five out of seven days a week you’re likely to find Adam in the pool.

According to Fred, his training includes, “Doing a warm up and stretching. I do tapering for the big meets, during the season I do long sprints and practice flip turns, because without that you’re not going to have a good time.”

Most people know what warming up and stretching entails, but tapering is a term many not involved in endurance or long distance sports would know. Tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition. The idea behind tapering is that after it your body will be rested and prepared for optimal performance and the studies show that it pays off.

The flip turn is also an important part of training for swimming, especially in events that consist of multiple pool lengths being swam. A race can truly be decided on the separation you get in your turns, so it’s a high priority for training.

“He works really hard,” Coach Saye said about Adam. “He volunteers when we need help demonstrating or showing a technique he has learned.”

Outside of the pool, Fred still at the young age of 14 hasn’t started to hit the gym in an effort to bulk up, but rather focuses on his core and preparing his body for meets.

“I don’t lift weights much,” Fred said about his training. “But I do core exercises to get your muscles prepared for the big meets.”

While it is unknown when Fred will get to make his name known in the USA Swimming Eastern Zone, one thing is for certain is that when he sets his sights on a goal, he will work to get it done.

“He’s a nice kid and hard worker,” added Coach Saye. “He’s kind of our rallying point for our team. His parents are so supportive too, they volunteer at every meet to help.”

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