Male Athlete of the Week

First Posted: 1/29/2009

Name: Will Rives
School: Mount Airy
Class: Junior
Sport: Swimming

Notable: Whats better than winning a conference championship? How about winning when nobody thought you could pull it off, which is exactly what the Mount Airy boys swim team did Jan. 24.
Nobody was a bigger winner that day than Will Rives, who placed first in two individual events (100-yard backstroke, 100 freestyle) and two relays (200 Medley and 200 freestyle). Rives was a pivotal reason why the Granite Bears knocked off rival Bishop McGuinness at the Northwest 1-A Conference championships.
When we won it was incredible, Rives said. It was one of the best moments of my life. It was awesome to see that upset take place.
It was actually pretty shocking. When you dont see it coming, it makes it that much more special when it actually happens.
Perhaps Rives most impressive performance came in the 200 freestyle relay. The Granite Bears and Villains were deadlocked in a tight race when it came down to Rives, who anchored the relay.
The intensity of the crowd and everyone going wild really motivated me to do well, he said. It was really hard for me to stay on the block and not go in.
No worries, as Rives stayed dry until it was his turn before swimming his team to the win.
I knew Will could beat him and he did, Mount Airy coach JoAnna Refvem said.
It wasnt just that particular relay that Refvem knew Rives could excel. She had high hopes for him in all of his events.
I told him going in that both his meets were his and he took them, Refvem said. “He did great. He was very smooth, very slick. He got in and got the job done.
Next up for Rives is a Feb. 7 trip to North Carolina State for the scholastic state swimming championships. He took fourth in the 100 backstroke last year. This time, Rives will compete in the same events as he did on Jan. 24.
“I’m looking forward to him at the state level, Refvem said. I think he’s got some better times in him.”
If he does, Rives and the rest of the Granite Bears are working hard to bring those times to the surface. He said winning the conference title only motivates the team that much more.
Seeing how much time we dropped and the intensity we put into the race made us want to get right back in and practice more, Rives said. This week weve been practicing all-out every day. Were really hoping to place well in our relays.

Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.

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