Montrose Marlins’ own Ryan King is about to say goodbye to the swim club he’s competed for since he was 5, but before he heads off to college, he’s going to take part in a prestigious camp.
The soon-to-be Northwestern Wildcat swimmer will compete at a USA Swimming Open Water Select Camp from Aug. 13-18 in Wisconsin.
Additionally, King will be in an open water competition, from Aug. 16-18, called the UANA Junior Open Water Championships. This competition will pit swimmers from the USA, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Canada to battle in open water 5K and 10K races.
“I was pretty honored to be invited,” King said on July 25. “It’s going to be a cool experience. … It’s special to be nominated as one of the top distance swimmers in the nation.”
He added even though he’s not familiar with open water competitions — which happen in natural bodies of water like lakes — he believes this event will provide valuable experience going forward.
The camp is put on USA Swimming, which is the largest governing body in the sport. Only a select group of swimmers from the U.S. are invited.
“It’s quite an honor. I’ve never had a kid make a national camp,” Marlins coach Silas Almgren said.
But before he does any of that, King heads to Palo Alto, California, Aug. 6-10 for the Speedo Junior National Championships.
No matter the outcome, King will leave behind a decorated prep sports resumé.
He won two state titles for Montrose High School, Southwestern Swimmer of the Year in 2019 and was named to the All-State first-team twice. He also set numerous pool records at the Montrose Community Recreation Center lap pool, as well as, setting the fastest times seen in Colorado.
Almgren said he’ll miss having King around but, more importantly, he wants him to continue with his swimming career.
If King will miss anything, it’ll be the friendships that he created with fellow Marlins teammates and 2019 MHS graduates Cayden Christianson and Maggie McHugh, who’ll compete for the University of Denver this upcoming season.
Although they’ll be further apart, King thinks they’ll all stay in touch.
“It’s kind of sad because some of them have been my best friends since I was little,” he said, adding he’s not too upset yet because he has one more meet later this month.
“It’s been really fun to see people grow. … It’s going to be fun to see them compete at the next level and see how well they swim.”
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.