FAIRBURY – Beatrice-Norris-Freeman-Fairbury swimmer Colton Starck signed his letter of intent to swim at the college level Thursday.
In front of dozens of classmates, relatives and friends, Starck signed to swim at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln next year.
“I’m just very excited that I can continue to do a sport that I love,” he said, “and continue it at the next level.”
For the past four years, Starck was a member of the BNFF swimming cooperative, which wrapped up its season at the state swim meet in late February.
In the state prelims, Starck placed 19th overall in the 100-butterfly with a personal best time of 54.84 seconds. Individually, he also competed in the 50-freestyle, where he placed 28th in prelims with a time of 22.91.
“(The 50-free) didn’t go the way I wanted it do, but it was really nice to have my next one improve by quite a bit,” Starck said. “(The 100-fly) is probably my better race. It was just really nice that I could improve in other strokes and get better still and keep improving.”
Starck was the third leg in the state-qualifying 200-yard medley relay team with Ian Scheele, Jacob Mason and Michael Walsh. In addition, Starck was the fourth leg in the state-qualifying 200-yard freestyle relay with Walsh, R.J. Suey and Cameron Knepp.
The boys’ 400-free relay placed 21st with a time of 3:32.23, dropping 2.31 seconds off of their previous PR. The 200-free relay placed 26th at 1:36.32. Both of those times are from prelims.
He was also part of a 400-free relay team which finished 21st overall at state.
Starck competed in a variety of events throughout the 2018-19 season, including the 50 free, 100-fly, the 200 free relay, the 200 medley relay and others.
He says he’ll do mostly shorter sprint events with Nebraska Wesleyan – a program he’s had a connection with since his early high school career. He chose the PrairieWolves after also fielding interest from nearby Midland in Fremont.
“I actually knew coach (Greg Fleming) from a camp since I was a freshman,” Starck said. “I went to a swim camp there, and then we kind of stayed in contact. I went to that camp a couple more times, got in more contact with him this past year and he seems like a really good coach. I can’t wait to swim for him.”
While Starck looks ahead to an exciting future, he also reflects on the memories made with friends and teammates not only from Fairbury, but from neighboring Beatrice, Freeman and Norris.
“I’ve always just enjoyed the team aspect of it with other schools,” he said. “Meeting new people, having lots of fun, the bus rides. We always eat after every meet. Really, a lot of team bonding and it’s really built a strong team. Kind of like a family.”
The highlight food stop for Starck was always the annual trip to Fuddrucker’s in Omaha.
“They have really good burgers and shakes.”
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.
The full interview with Colton can be heard here: