No Time for a Sick Day: Alec Nyboer Wins State in 100 Fly

The exhaustive practices, which stretched for hours into the evening every night, were just a prelude.  The long nights of competition, some of it miles away, has all been in preparation for something greater.  The Boys Swim and Dive State Championship, which took place on March 8th and 9th, was the Superbowl for the select few who possessed the skill and determination to compete in the pool at an advanced level.

Among those few is Alec Nyboer, a sophomore swimmer built for the fast, power-based events such as the 100 Free, 100 Back, the 200 IM, and the 100 Fly.  He started swimming young, and hasn’t been able to stay out of the pool since.  Now a powerful asset to the team, he has waited all year for the opportunity to make an impression at the 2014 State Meet.

“Taper was great.  It got me really pumped,” Nyboer said, recalling the process of readying for the impending competition.  Reducing the rigorous conditioning regimen of swimming in the days before competition is a huge part of keeping athletes healthy, rested, and ready for action.  Every year, taper becomes one of the most important rituals for swimmers, whether they are state-bound or not.

Now imagine falling ill on that day of competition.  Nyboer, who had already watched his mother get sick and require medical treatment, didn’t feel at all well the morning he was to swim the 100 Fly and the 4 x 1 Relay.  Nyboer not only kept it together, but was comfortable making small talk with other swimmers, his competitors, before jumping into the pool.  Fighting the persistent bile trying to push its way up from his stomach, he made the plunge and came out a champion.

Winning first in the 100 Fly as a sophomore was a feat.  Winning while sick was something else entirely.

After completing the 4 x 1 relay with Aaron Smit, Ryan Underwood, and Matt Oonk, Nyboer stood atop the podium, gratefully accepted his medal for the 100 Fly, and then threw up.

“They thought I had dropped my medal at first,” Nyboer laughed.  His next three rounds of retching disproved that notion and made it clear that he was, in fact, ill.

But being sick wasn’t enough to put Nyboer off of his game, as his impressive ranking now demonstrates.  Now that he and his family are back to full health, he plans to compete this weekend in Zeeland at the USA State Meet.  With two more successful years of swim ahead, Nyboer is set to go nowhere but up.

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