The Circle of Honor is a program that Wesleyan created in 2007 to recognize former Wesleyan athletes who made significant contributions to the athletic program while they were students at the school. Recognized as one of the highest honors, only a few people are inducted each year. In a recent interview, Head Athletic Director, Marc Khedouri, said, “[Throughout high school] a lot of students did a lot of really important things that are worthy of recognition and [they] accomplished a lot [too]. There is a character component to [this honor] as well, so we are not just recognizing students who were good athletically. [Instead], we are recognizing students of high character who were also good athletically.”
There is a Wesleyan Alumni that has made a big progression in his athletic career. Nick Salyers, class of 2012, has made an Olympic Trial cut in the pool and will compete at the Olympic Trials in June. The trials are held a month before the Olympics in Omaha, Nebraska. The top swimmers from around the country come and compete at the fastest and most competitive meet of the year. It is difficult to gain a cut for the trials, as they require not only speed, but endurance and grit.
When asked about his training regiment, Salyers said, “Currently, my main focus is on having my best year in the pool for the Bulldogs. So my schedule and training is not unlike my previous years at Georgia. We have however thrown in a few more long course (50 meter pool) meets into our typical schedule, like our dual meet against Florida which is normally short course (25 yard pool), in order to prepare for Olympic Trials. Also during the fall semester and over the breaks we did a lot more long course training in preparation for the Trials this summer.” Salyers had a good year for the Bulldogs, being one of the top contributors to the team.
In addition,he said, “I swim from 5:30-7am then have weights from 7:45-9 and then swim again in the afternoon from 2:45-5pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And then we have drylands from 2:15-3pm and then swim from 3:15-5pm every Tuesday and Thursday. We swim once for approximately 2 hours every Saturday and have Sunday off. The NCAA limits us to 20 hours of training per week. And we hit 20 hours exactly every week.” Swimmers all around can attest to the fact that it is a harsh and exhausting training schedule.
Finally, I asked Salyers about his coaching staff and how they have helped him in his progression towards the trials. He said, “Our coaches at Georgia are world class, but then we also have strength and conditioning coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and access to everything we need to succeed in the pool, classroom and life beyond sports.” Coaches are so important towards a strong training program, and Salyers is the first of many to say that the coaches are top notch at UGA.
When asked about how balancing studies and time in the pool worked out, Salyers said, “It can be difficult at times. You really do have to sacrifice a lot at times in order to maintain the kind of schedule that I keep. But I thrive in that sort of challenge. It has been very rewarding to take on the challenge of swimming at UGA. Swimming has opened up many doors for me and taught me a lot about myself and a lot about hard work.”
Salyers is still looking to shave time of his 100 meter Backstroke, which is the event that he will be swimming in Omaha this June. His training will continue until then, as he looks to attempt to make the Olympic team as a senior in college.