The East County Observer and Bogey’s Restaurant and Sports Pub have teamed up to showcase the East County’s top athletes. Each recipient’s article will be featured on the restaurant’s wall.
Johnny Silvers knows that he’s expected to go the distance every time he dives into the pool.
The Lakewood Ranch senior spends more than 20 hours in the pool each and every week, swimming between 6,000 and 12,000 yards a day for the Sarasota Sharks while also competing for the Mustangs.
Silvers has been engrossed in the same workout regimen for nearly 10 years, and over the past four years the 17-year-old has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication to the sport through record-setting performances, county championships, state meet appearances and Scholastic All-American awards — an honor Silvers, who maintains a 4.3 grade-point average, has received the past two years for his achievements both in and out of the pool.
On Oct. 14, Silvers added several more accolades to his already-impressive résumé, winning all four of his events and leading Lakewood to victory at the Manatee County Championship Swim Meet at G.T. Bray.
Silvers tallied 120 of the Mustangs’ 462.5 points and set three new county meet records, including the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.06), the 500-yard freestyle (4:51.50) and the boys 200 freestyle relay (1:35.84), in which he swam the anchor leg.
“It was a fun meet,” Silvers said. “Our team is looking really good this year, so it’s all really exciting.”
Silvers started swimming competitively when he was 5 years old after joining a summer league near his home in Pennsylvania. After moving to Florida in 2000, Silvers joined the Sharks and has been swimming with the team ever since.
Although there was a time several years ago when Silvers was ready to leave the sport behind, but he ultimately stuck with the sport at the urging of his parents — a decision Silvers, who has been recruited by Florida State and Penn State, said has changed his life.
“There was a point in middle school when I was really tired of it, but my parents kept me in it, and I’m really glad they did,” Silvers said. “I never expected to swim all the way through college, but I’m really glad I kept with it, because it’s a really good activity and sport.”
Last season, Silvers finished fourth in the state in the 500-yard freestyle, and Silvers is looking to return to the state meet again this season.
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