Union Swimmer Balances Busy Schedule

BREAKING THE RECORD: Union High School senior Colton Posey competes during senior night on Jan. 24 and breaks his own record for the 100 meter breaststroke, clocking in at 1.08:21.

Courtesy Stephanie Whimberly

For most young ones, swimming lessons and swimming for fun are as far as they take the sport. For Union senior Colton Posey, though, that was hardly the end of the story.

After learning to swim at Miller Swim School, he got involved with its recreational swimming team. At age 11, he joined a competitive swimming team with Swim Tulsa.

While he thinks his switch to competitive swimming was partly due to positive peer pressure from his teammates, he has never regretted his decision. Proof of that is his continuing success in the sport—he recently broke his own record in the 100 meter breaststroke—and his enduring enjoyment of the sport.

“When I’m practicing or racing, I like that I can just put my head down and think to myself,” he says. “I like being able to focus under water.”

Posey finds that an added enjoyment comes from the human connections that the sport allows him to make outside of the water, through travel inside and outside of the state for competitions.

His interest in meeting new people is clearly reflected in his choices of colleges.
His original, front-running choice was Dartmouth College. He lists its Ivy League status, freshman programs, small class sizes and opportunities to meet new people as reasons for his desire to attend.

The other college high on his list, however, is not one he anticipated: Drury University in Springfield, Mo. The campus tour exposed him to things he wasn’t expecting to find, he says.

“I loved how small and closely-knitted the campus was.”

He also met with some of the professors in his chosen major. “I appreciate how dedicated they are to teaching their subject,” he says

The school’s quality swim team didn’t hurt his opinion of Drury either.

He plans to join the swim team at whichever college he eventually decides to attend partly because he realizes his swimming will end with college graduation.
“I’m going to college purely for academics,” he says—an apt statement from this high-achieving senior. Posey ranks in the top 10 percent of his graduating class of 1,000.

He is currently enrolled in three advanced placement classes and a course with Tulsa Community College. One of his courses, AP psychology, he names as one of his favorite classes because of its direct link to what he plans to pursue in college: behavioral neuroscience, where he hopes to work with children with mental disorders.

Posey’s two enjoyments come together for his career choice: science and kids.
Even with his busy swimming and school schedule—he arrives at school for swim practice between 5:30 and 6 a.m. every weekday—he also makes time to teach swimming lessons to young ones after his afternoon swim practice.

Besides the enjoyment of it, it’s good practice for his future career plans.
“I like to see how kids act,” he says. “They’re all different, and you have to find a different way to work with each of them.”

Updated 02-27-2014

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