Rocky Point’s Chris O’Shea can’t put his finger on it.
The defending Suffolk 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke county champion has found himself excelling in the butterfly. One of his theories is due to an increase in offseason weight training, but he’s not even 100 percent sure that’s the reason. Regardless, O’Shea has the top time in Suffolk in the 100-yard butterfly, an event he never really considered himself an expert in.
“I just had an insane improvement, which was awesome,” O’Shea said. “I don’t even know if I can credit it. Even my coach had no idea that something like that was going to happen but I hope it continues.”
The junior had posted the top time in Suffolk in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.64), 100-yard backstroke (51.58) and 100-yard butterfly (50.78) through Dec. 20. He also has the sixth-best time in 50-yard freestyle (22.66) and third best time in the 200-yard individual medley (1:56.08).
He has made a verbal commitment to swim for Eastern Michigan.
It’s important to O’Shea that he be considered a versatile swimmer.
“I do take a lot of pride in it,” he said. “Being more of a diverse swimmer helps a lot, especially to have more than one option. Makes things more interesting.”
O’Shea, 6-2 and 190 pounds, began swimming at age 9 when his friends told him to give it a shot. He also did karate and played baseball and basketball. He said he began to realize at around age 13 that he had potential in swimming.
“I tried out and now I’m here,” O’Shea said. “It’s been a great journey.”
O’Shea finished ninth in the state meet last year in the 200-freestyle, posting the top time (1:42.77) in the B-final, cutting .63 seconds off his preliminary time from the day before. He placed third in the 100-yard backstroke in 51.23.
He has his eyes set on the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly this season. But O’Shea’s trying not to get ahead of himself. He wants to focus on the daily improvements before thinking about a state title.
“It’s hard not to rush seeing yourself do something like that,” O’Shea said. “I’m just trying to take it more baby steps but I’m so excited for it.”