Swimming into historyPublished 10:30pm Saturday, February 22, 2014
Eubanks becomes NRHS’ first regional champ
Some high school swimmers have been have been swimming their whole lives without a major title. But just five years after starting the sport, Nansemond River High School sophomore Logan Eubanks recently became the Warriors’ first regional champion, and he is a favorite at states.
For his unprecedented achievement, Eubanks was nominated and named the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week.
Warriors head coach Shamus Riley has worked with Eubanks for two years and described him as a phenomenal addition to Nansemond River’s swim team. He has been breaking school records routinely since his freshman year.
“It’s just exciting to see what he’s going to do every time he gets in the pool,” Riley said.
The coach was excited by Eubanks’ regional showing.
“I think he did fantastic,” he said. “I wasn’t sure where he stood with the rest of the region.”
It turns out he stood above the crowd, finishing the 100-yard backstroke in 56.34 seconds, more than three seconds faster than the runner-up.
“Coming into states now, with him being ranked first, it’s pretty exciting,” Riley said.
This run of success had a simple beginning. Eubanks recalls that swimming became a part of his life when he was about 11 years old.
“I think he kind of just picked up on his own,” his mother, Melissa Eubanks, said.
Logan said it just seemed like a fun thing to do with his free time.
“Then I got really into it, started to practice more,” he said.
Initially, he swam for the Suffolk YMCA on a team known as the Gators. The team was discontinued a couple years later, and then he joined the Old Dominion Aquatic Club.
ODAC provides a demanding schedule for its swimmers. They practice every day except Sunday, and also do weight training on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
“It’s just a lot more work; it’s a lot of fun,” Eubanks said of swimming at ODAC. “You get really close with the people that you’re swimming with.”
They compete about once a month, year-round.
Last August, he became part of ODAC’s high performance group, its most elite squad of swimmers.
Riley cited Eubanks’ hard work for his success as a swimmer. His ODAC practices are in addition to his school class schedule and NRHS swimming events.
Eubanks also has important physical attributes that help him succeed.
“He actually does have the ideal swimming body — tall and skinny,” Riley said.
But Eubanks’ motivation “just to be the best I can” is what ultimately accounts for his success.
His achievements have been diverse. At regionals, he qualified for state competition in the 100-yard butterfly and was already qualified in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 100 backstroke. He achieved regional qualifying times in the 100 and 200 free.
“He was also an (individual medley) swimmer this year, too,” Riley said.
ODAC is a USA team, and if Eubanks continues to reduce his times, he could find himself in the Olympic pipeline.
“I would love to do that, but I still have a lot of work before I get there,” he said.
Meanwhile, there are high school marks to set, and Riley foresees him “definitely winning a state championship before he graduates, if not multiple ones.”
Eubanks swam in the Virginia High School League Group 4A swim championship finals Saturday evening after placing first in the 100 back during the preliminary round.