There’s a new force on the Nantucket Swim and Dive team who is rewriting the record board, he goes by the name of Tyler Roethke. Unlike a young Tom Brady, there was no doubt that this swimmer would be a star from a young age. As a freshman, this was Roethke’s first year on the high school team, and he has already taken down three records from the school record board. These records consist of the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay. The previous record for the 200 freestyle was 1:52.65, set by Beau Garuffi. Roethke took almost two seconds off of the event swimming a 1:50.78 in the Duxbury swim meet held earlier in the season. Not to be stopped, Roethke also beat the school record for the 500 freestyle with an impressive 5:12.12, beating Beau Garuffi’s previous time by roughly five seconds. With the help of Cooper Norris, James Taaffe, and Jacob Aloisi, Roethke and his relay replaced the 400 freestyle relay time with a 3:30.73, originally set by Beau Garufi, Sam Toole, Henry Toole and Loren Paterson who held a 3:33.06 for almost ten years. When asked, coach Jim Pignato said he wanted to see Roethke take down the 100 freestyle next.
“Tyler Roethke is a very talented swimmer,” said Pignato, “We’re very lucky to have a swimmer of that caliber on our team, once you’ve reached that level it just sets the bar for other swimmers to strive for their potential.”
Pignato went on to say that he has never seen a swimmer,freshman swimmer that is, with that kind of talent before.
“That’s the first of this talent that I’ve seen, especially on our boy’s side,” praised Pignato. “It’s always interesting to see a swimmer come in so young with so much talent, it’s a great resource and asset to the team. We also want to think long term on how this success with be sustained throughout his career with us.”
Pignato said that anything can happen, there can be a setback or injury with any sport or swimmer, we want to keep Roethke and all his teammates happy and focused. Roethke swims about ten months out of the year with the dolphins program, which means he’s in the water at the beginning of September then to April where he takes a short break. Then he’s back in the pool for the months of May, June and July and the cycle continues as the rest of us feel accomplished when we conquer the stairs going from classes in the basement to the top floor. According to Pignato, Roethke has opened some eyes in the Bay Colony Conference as well. Having the pleasure to sit down and talk with Roethke myself, some interesting information was collected; “I like to swim the 200 freestyle. I’ve been swimming it for awhile and I guess I’ve just gotten to know it well, I think I started swimming it when I was eleven.”
Both coach and swimmer were on the same page by saying that the next record to be taken down was the 100 freestyle, Roethke is currently .1 seconds away from breaking that long-standing record which is a 49.85.
“It’s pretty cool to break two school records as a freshman, everything about it, the whole team aspect as well is cool with everyone supporting each other.”
And then came the question we all were wondering: “do you have plans to swim in college?” With a smile, the young swimmer replied, “Yeah I do. I think it would be really fun. It’s definitely on my mind and is a really good goal to have.”
Good thing for Roethke’s large fan group, he still has three more years to break records and keep us on our toes from the pool deck or sweaty gallery.