South's Patrick King signs

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 23, 2012

By Ryan Bisesi
LANDIS — The Pfeiffer swimming program is fit for a King.
South Rowan’s Patrick King, that is.
King made his first leap off the board at the Pfeiffer Invitational two years ago and his jump to college will also come to the quaint DII school down Highway 52.
“It’s a small school and has a beautiful atmosphere,” King said from the South Rowan library Friday. “I kept praying and got comfortable in the idea of going to Pfeiffer.”
The China Grove resident started swimming as a freshman as a way to get into shape. King saw it as a way to lose weight and was familiar with the sport with both sisters being swimmers. King is now 60 pounds lighter than he was as a freshman.
“I wanted to find a way to exercise,” King said. “My Dad introduced me to Coach Yanz and he took a chance on me. I ended up getting better and better.”
King went on a visit to Pfeiffer in February and met coach Eric Anderson. The choice came down to Pfeiffer and Charlotte.
“Pat’s the perfect athlete to coach,” South Rowan swim coach Greg Yanz said. “He doesn’t really question hard work. He knows hard work leads to success.”
His strengths are in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle swims. King was the 500 champion in the NPC the past two years and won the 200 this year. His personal best in the 200 is 2:04 and the 500 is 5:47.
At Pfeiffer, King feels better suited to the distance events such as the 1,000 and 1,650.
King teamed up with Caleb Helms, Luke Rary and Jeremiah Bradshaw to win the 400-yard relay at the County Meet. South’s boys won the County Meet for the 10th straight season in January and the girls were victorious as well.
King was All-County and All-Conference his junior and senior seasons. The accomplishments are more impressive considering just jumping off the platform was chore for him until late in his sophomore year.
Ironically, his first jump off the block was at a meet held at Pfeiffer two years ago.
“He’d be there every Saturday working on it,” Yanz said.
Yanz says the upside for King is high once he gets ingrained into the work ethic of a college swimmer. King shows promise for someone who hasn’t swam for club teams or been in the sport relatively long.
“He’s pretty much been a three-month a year high school swimmer,” Yanz said. “There’s a high ceiling for him.”
Academics shouldn’t be a concern. Carrying a 4.07 GPA, King has been a scholar athlete all four years.
He plans to major in computer science.