By MIKE MOGUIN
JACK AND PATRICK CALLAN: Bishop Kelley swimmers and brothers Jack, left, and Patrick Callan celebrate after winning individual and relay races with their team at the Class 5A boys swim meet on Feb. 17 in Edmond.
Courtesy of Sean Callan/Trident Aquatics
Brothers Patrick and Jack Callan are a big part of why Bishop Kelley is successful with its swim program. They were victors in the Class 5A state swim meet in February in Edmond.
Patrick, a senior, who is bound for Michigan, took first in individual and relay races, marking him a winner in state swimming events in his high school career. This year, he won the 50 (20.78) and 100-yard (44.82) freestyle events, along with other Kelley swimmers, including his brother, in the 200 (1:29.08) and 400-yard (3:15.62) freestyle races.
Jack, a sophomore this year, won the 200 (1:44.08) and 500-yard (4:40.86) freestyle races. He had also won them last year as a freshman.
Patrick won the races his younger brother competed in during his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior last year, Patrick won the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard individual medley and the same relay meets.
At this year’s meet, the siblings were joined by freshman Sam Duda and senior Rafael Serrano Menesas in the 200 relay, along with freshmen Matt Hunt and Tyler Huong in the 400.
“It meant a lot to (win) individually and see all the workouts I’ve done the past couple of years pay off,” Patrick says. “But, the relays were a lot more important to me, because it was all these guys coming together and showing what we can do as a team.
“We had one senior who graduated last year who was a big part of our relay,” Patrick says. “To be able to replace him with these new kids coming in, it really showed that we can lose someone and be just as good.”
Both brothers, who are involved with club swimming in the offseason, enjoyed being able to swim together in the relays.
“It was really cool to be able to race and train with him and just seeing him get really good,” Patrick says. “He’s going to be an incredible athlete. Just being able to race with him has been awesome, plus winning all these state titles with him. It’s been special.”
“It was awesome,” Jack says. “He was a lot of fun to swim with. He is a great guy. He is really humble. It’s fun having him at the anchor too. It’s just fun swimming with him being my brother, and training with him all those years; we finally get to do great things together. So, it was fun.
However, as a team, the Comets came up two points shy to Booker T. Washington (289-287) in the team standings and had to settle for a second-place finish.
“It was really hard at first, knowing that we got that close,” Patrick says. “We knew coming into this year that we were going to be really good and that we had a chance to win. But we gave it a heck of a fight, and it was really a great meet. A lot of people put up best times and we gave all we had.”
“It was hard to take, especially by two points,” Jack says. “I felt worse for the seniors, knowing that this is their last shot. So next year, we’re thinking we’re going to do it for them. They deserve it.”
What the older Callan likes most about swimming is that a person can stay involved in the sport as long as he or she wishes.
“There are people in their 80s and 90s who still compete at the national level, and that’s one thing that most sports can’t give you,” he says. “Also, whatever work you put in is what you’re going to get out. In swimming, you either work hard and swim fast one race day or you don’t and get beat.”
For the younger Callan, his favorite part is just the racing and having fun.
“I think the most beneficial part is it helps you stay healthy. It’s a sport that works all muscles in the body and it’s easy to stay in shape,” he says.
Next year, Patrick, who graduates in May, will be in Big 10 country, swimming for the University of Michigan, whom he recently signed with.
“They were really focused on being a real big family,” Patrick says. “The other schools I visited, some of the guys are focused more on their individual goals, and at Michigan, it was all about the team. They have a saying, ‘The team, the team, the team.’ It was really evident when I visited there. That was their biggest focus.”
Patrick chose Michigan over Florida and Notre Dame.
Although he will have to adjust without his older brother around, Jack is looking forward to what Kelley can accomplish in the pool next year.
“It will be hard (to be without him),” Jack says. “But we’re having a lot of talent coming in, and with the talent we already have, I still think we’ll be able to do great things next year.”