High Five: Waters sets sights on state swim meet

Published 11:34 am Friday, January 20, 2023

Listed at 5’8 and 220 lbs. on the Pam Pack football roster, senior Austin Waters looks more like a defensive lineman than he does a swimmer. Turns out he’s better than most at both. Waters also threw the shot put and discus for the WHS track team his first three years.

  1. Most football players wrestle in the winter and not many swim. Why pick the pool over the mat?

Austin: I’ve been swimming competitively since I was really young and have always liked it. I wrestled at P.S. Jones Middle School until I hurt my shoulder and that was the end of that sport for me. I’ve swam year-round with the Gators and in the Junior Olympics and have done pretty well. I like to compete with people and it’s fun powering through the 100 free to see who is the fastest.

  1. You compete in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, swim the freestyle part of the 200 medley relay, the 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. What is your favorite event?

Austin: Both relays, because it’s a team effort. We have a lot of fun cheering for each other and trying to get back to the regional and state meets. We qualified for state last year and it was a lot of fun in a bigger environment with a lot people making noise.

  1. What’s your swimming highlight so far?

Austin: Our 200 relay team was ranked 16th going into the regional last year and we needed to be eighth to qualify for state. We dropped six seconds off our time at regional and finished eighth to make it.

  1. What’s your football highlight?

Austin: There are two. Winning the conference championship in that crazy overtime game against Kinston my sophomore year was amazing. That was my sophomore year and I was on JV, but got play a little in that game. We were all going crazy on the sideline, then rushed the field after we won.

The other was our playoff win at Burlington Cummings my junior year. It’s fun to go in and pull a bit of an upset and make the home crowd be quiet.

  1. What are your plans after graduation?

Austin: I’m going into the nursing program at Beaufort Community College.

I enjoyed my nursing classes here at WHS with Ms. Harrell and have always liked to help people. The field pays well and there’s good job security.