A new swimmer in “town”

Zach Palmer


Towsend dives into the pool to swim the 50 butterfly at states Photo by Laura Gauntt

Two years ago, the boys swimming
team at Hanover was basically unheard
of. No wins, no accomplishments and
no recognition. All this changed when
phenom swimmer Patrick Townsend
entered Hanover in 2013.
“The boys team before Patrick came
was terrible. I don’t remember the last
time they had won a meet, but when
he came I think other schools stopped
looking at Hanover as an easy win and
more as someone to beat,” senior Montana
Bowman said.
Townsend started his swimming career
when he turned five years old, not
knowing the potential that lay ahead.
“My mom wanted to make sure
I had the ability to swim. I didn’t really
think anything of it and just went
along with it. I was a really bad swimmer
when I started,” Townsend said.
Unlike most athletes, Townsend
stuck with a sport he was less than average
in and trained week in and week
out to become better. Townsend’s
complex training schedule consists
of swimming eight times a week and
weight-lifting three times a week.
“I swim Monday through Saturday,
swimming in the morning and
evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Then I workout with a personal trainer
at the YMCA Monday, Wednesday
and Friday. Sundays are my free day,”
Townsend said.
Little did he know, all his long, exhausting
days of training would pay off;
probably more than he expected.
By the age of 12, Townsend achieved
the number one ranking in the country
in the 200 butterfly and cracked the top
fifty in the 100 butterfly. He’s maintained
a ranking inside of the top seven
up to this day.
“Who would’ve thought I would be
ranked number one in the country? I
knew I contained a long streak of winning
races, but never thought about
the number one ranking nationally,”
Townsend said.
At Hanover, Townsend turned a
desperate team that hadn’t tasted a victory
in four years into a team with four
wins. The boys swim team finished last
year’s season with a record of 4-2 with
its only losses coming to Maggie Walker
and Atlee.
After breaking a numerous amount
of records, Townsend did something
every high school athlete dreams of:
win a state title. It’s not easy to find
someone with a state championship
ring four years in a row, but Townsend’s
work ethic could prove to do just that.
“I think this Hanover team has been
put on the map and think we have become
a force in the county, conference
and region,” Townsend said.
Townsend has already started his
college recruiting process, and one university
sticks out to him more than others.
That college being, Notre Dame.
“Finding a blend in a school that focuses
strongly on academics and athletics
is difficult, but I knew Notre Dame
had both. The most important aspect
to this process is getting my education,
then I will focus on swimming,”
Townsend said.
Townsend has three more years at
Hanover ahead of him, which look to
be very bright.
“I wanted to bring the swimming
program at Hanover into a school that
receives the recognition it deserves,
and one that can dominate teams
around the state,” Townsend said.


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