Built for speed
By Mike Beas
Only the fastest of the fast will advance beyond this weekend’s boys swim sectionals taking place throughout the state.
Brownsburg senior Austin Kehr hopes to be touching the wall first — and more than once.
The senior, already established as one of the state’s premier sprint freestyle swimmers, begins to close out his high school career in the sectional finals at Pike on Saturday. Kehr wants to eventually experience the higher levels of the awards podium at the state meet later this month.
At the 2020 state meet at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Kehr took eighth in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. This season, he’s specialized in these events, as well as the 200 medley relay and 200 sprint relays for the Bulldogs.
“Obviously, this was a weird year for any expectations, but from last year to this year, we feel Austin could move up to the top three (at state),” said sixth-year Brownsburg swim coach Keith Gast. “If you do that, you have a chance to get your hand on the wall first.
“We’ve done a little bit of fine-tuning off of last season. This year, Austin’s focus and his consistency have been his biggest (improvements).”
Kehr, who between before- and after-school practices averages 14-15 hours of pool time a week, holds program records in the 50 and 100 freestyle (including the pool record in the latter, 45.08 seconds), 100 butterfly and 200 medley relay. A solid student (3.34 GPA), Kehr is committed to be part of the men’s swim program at the University of Indianapolis after graduating from Brownsburg.
Kehr did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: Before- and after-school practices is a lot of responsibility for any high school athlete. How long have you been swimming competitively, and what or who got you hooked?
A: I’ve been swimming for 10 years, since I was 8. My older sister (Madison) swam, and I loved going to practices and meets. I loved the environment of the pool and saw the dedication that it takes to be successful.
Q: Is the training leading up to postseason competitions different from the regular season? If so, how?
A: Our training changes a little bit. Higher reps, I guess. In the middle of the season, our reps are longer, and we have a little more rest before we start another set. Now, it would be shorter sets and higher intensity. You push yourself harder.
Q: What do you plan on majoring in at the University of Indianapolis?
A: I’m going to major in communications and minor in criminal justice. I want to go into the CIA or FBI and be in secret service. I’ve had family members that have done it, and they like it.