It’s a routine that he knows all too well. Show up, change into your suit, dive into the much-too-cold water, and spend the next two hours pushing your body to the limits as you make your way up and down the pool. For incoming Milford sophomore Mason Sauers, every practice is an opportunity to get better, and it’s not something that he takes lightly.
Gifted with the typical swimmers body, long limbs and a lean frame, Sauers knows that it takes more than just genetics to make someone a successful athlete. He has been swimming since he was four years old, competing since he was eight, and even after finishing up his first high school season, he jumped right back into the pool for a summer season at the Milford Boys & Girls Club.
“I wanted to swim this summer for a few reasons. The main reason is to keep in shape for next year and to keep improving on my times, but honestly I also knew that this summer would be fun for me at Champs,” Sauers said.
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Champs is the term given to the Championship Meet at the end of the summer for the Delmarva Swim Association which hosts the top swimmers from 24 teams across the Delmarva area. Sauers may have known that this summer would be fun for him, but it’s hard to know if he realized that he would be going into all of his events as the #1 seed for his age group. The biggest advantage for Sauers has been that he is competing in the 13-14 year old age group. He is only 14, so it makes sense that he would compete here, but he is also coming off of a freshman year at Milford where he qualified for the DIAA state meet against the top athletes from Delaware.
“It definitely has been weird swimming against only kids my own age this summer. It’s been a lot of fun, but I have to keep my head from getting too big as I keep winning. It helps remembering the older kids that I know are waiting for me when I get back to high school swim next year. Last year I was worried about how hard it would me to make states, but my teammates helped push me to get there, and it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. I’m excited to see what next year is going to bring, but I know the expectations are going to be higher now that I’m not just a freshman,” Sauers said.
As for his expectations for Champs, Mason is not giving himself any slack.
“I’m seeded first in all my events, and I expect to finish first in them,” he said.
Mason will be competing in the 50 yard freestyle, 50 yard butterfly, and 100 yard individual medley (a mash-up of all 4 strokes). Aside from dominating his competition all year, Sauers has also been continuing to set marks for future swimmers to chase after. The Milford Boys and Girls Club swim team, The Milford Marlins, keeps their own club record times, and the boys’ list is essentially owned by Sauers. This summer he broke the 13-14 year old breaststroke record as well.
The Delmarva Swim Association Championships take place this Saturday, July 28 at the Sussex Academy Aquatic Center.
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