Swimming: Rodenhuis moving up an age group
Taylor Rodenhuis has been on top of the swimming world.
Now, it’s time to start over.
According to Rowan Aquatic Club coach Matt Hall, Rodenhuis, who just turned 13, is moving up after dominating his 11-12 age group over the past season.
“There are 1,000 11-to-12-year-old swimmers in the state of North Carolina,” Hall said. “Taylor was in the top two. That’s really impressive.”
Rodenhuis won the 200 and 400 freestyle recently and was second in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly.
His biggest accomplishment, however, may have been traveling to Orlando, Fla., for the zones ó alone.
“He didn’t even ask his parents to go,” Hall laughed. “He said, ‘I’m getting a little older now, and I want to get on the plane by myself. I want to stay in a room with the other guys on the team.’ ”
Rodenhuis represented North Carolina at the meet that brought 11 states together.
“My short-term goal is to make nationals,” Rodenhuis said.
He thinks back to the age of 3, when he first hit the pool, and he’s been swimming for the RACY since he was 4.
Now, Rodenhuis must re-focus. He’s going against older swimmers.
“I’ve been off for a while, so I have to start over again,” Rodenhuis said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Rodenhuis enjoys long-distance races like the mile but adds, “I’ve been working on my sprints. I’ve been getting better at that.”
A student at Salisbury Academy, he’ll go to high school at Salisbury and join a long line of RACY swimmers who have had all-county and all-conference careers there.
Hall said he thinks his swimmer can only get better.
How do you motivate a swimmer like Rodenhuis after 10 years in the pool.
“You always have to remember why you started,” Hall said. “And when it stops being fun, you need to re-evaluate what you’re doing.”
That won’t be a problem for Rodenhuis. He plans to work hard and says Hall is a difference-maker for the RACY.
“He’s helped me a lot, and he’s a great coach,” Rodenhuis said. “He’s probably the best coach I’ve had. He’s a lot of fun.”
Hall is certain hard work and fun go together for this RACY swimmer.
“Taylor will be back at the bottom of his bracket,” Hall said, “so he’ll have to fight his way back up. Right now, he’s having a ball.”