Archived Story

Howard makes splash in Calif.

Published 10:18am Monday, August 19, 2013

Benjamin Russell swimming standout Robert Howard competed in the Speedo U.S. Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif. Aug. 5-9.
The event was a success for Howard, who set personal best times in each of the three events he competed in: the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, and the 200-meter freestyle.
Howard, 17, clocked a time of 23.99 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle, which exceeded his then-personal best by .26 hundreths of a second.
In the 100-meter freestyle event, he swam the event in 52.73 seconds, which was nearly half a second better than his previous best in the event.
In the 200-meter freestyle event, Howard obliterated his personal time, completing the race in 1:55.51, which was nearly two and a half seconds better than his previous best.
“It was my first competition on a big stage or a national stage, so I tried to go into it with no expectations,” Howard said. “I didn’t want to place too much pressure on myself. Hopefully next year I’ll be better and faster.”
All things considered, Howard said, he felt good about his outing.
“I performed pretty well,” he said. “I had a mission trip the week before, which kind of messed me up as far as getting into the groove of things, but I have no regrets.”
Howard said the event will help to motivate him for the state championship meets in December.
“The level of competition is so high on the national stage,that it’s almost humbling to be a part of that,” he said. “Come this fall, I’ll go into the state meets with a chip on my shoulder, and I’ll be ready to show what I can do.”