Issac Davis became Hartland's first all-state swimmer in 6 years
How did Hartland junior Issac Davis approach the biggest swim meet of his career?
Simple: By not approaching it like it was the biggest swim meet of his career.
De-stressing himself prior to the state Division 1 swimming and diving finals March 10-11 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids helped him become Hartland’s first all-stater in six years. And it helped him to be voted the Livingston Dailey Athlete of the Week for March 6-12.
Davis placed seventh in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.77 seconds and eighth in the 100 freestyle in 47.61. The top eight finishers make all-state.
“It was really fun,” Davis said. “I really just treated it like a normal meet. I didn’t stress about it too much. I just swam and did what I normally did.”
The experience of competing in the state meet as a freshman and sophomore kept Davis from succumbing to pressure this time around.
“I learned it’s not that much different from a normal dual meet,” he said. “Just do the same thing you do.”
With his finish in the 50 freestyle, Davis became Hartland’s first all-stater since Cory Nelligan placed sixth in the same event in 2017, one event before diver Jack Losert placed sixth for the Eagles. Davis also became only the third Hartland boy to have two individual all-state swims in the same season, joining Kevin Konkle (2008) and Ryan Geheb (2014 and 2015).
Davis exceeded his own expectations.
“Last year, I placed 20th overall in the 100 free,” he said. “At that meet last year, I was like, ‘Next year, I’m gonna place in the top 10.’”
Davis also helped two Hartland relays get on the consolation podium with a 16th-place finish in the 200 medley and a 14th place in the 200 freestyle.
Davis and his twin brother, Tyler, are coached by their mother, Regina.
“Issac has been swimming since he was 11,” Regina Davis said. “He tried a little bit of lacrosse, a little bit with some dance lessons, more for his sister’s sake. He got into swimming once I started teaching swim lessons. I threw him into the pool and he had a natural talent for it.”
And Davis found he had a propensity for swimming sprints.
“I just loved going fast, so I just kept going faster and faster,” he said. “I’ve dabbled with distance, but it wasn’t really my stronger suit. The other three strokes, I can do them, I’m pretty good at them, but there’s just that gap between those and freestyle.”
Davis balances swimming with a commitment to the Hartland marching and jazz bands.
“Marching band practices were right after school up until 4:30, then swim at 5:30,” he said. “I had a little break. I do like having something to do right after I’m done, but there’s a balance. If I do too many things, then it all just piles up and I take a little break.”
Contact Bill Khan at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillKhan.
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Issac Davis became Hartland's first all-state swimmer in 6 years