By the Numbers
200 — The distance in yards of Dols' signature event — the 200 backstroke.
3 — The age Dols was when he first started swimming in Jamaica.
1 — The number of swimmers, including Dols, who will represent Jamaica at the 5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.
2 — The number of international meets Dols will have competed in after the 5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.
6,000 to 7,000 — The average distance in meters Dols swims during a typical Sarasota Sharks practice.
Beating the Clock
Dols’ personal best times in his four routine events include:
200-yard backstroke: 2:06.54
200-yard individual medley: 2:09
400-yard individual medley: 4:35
100-yard butterfly: 58.66
Sharks bound for nationals
The Sarasota Sharks will send 12 swimmers to the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships July 30 through Aug. 3, in San Antonio, Texas.
The meet is open to swimmers, ages 18 and under, who achieved qualifying time standards established by USA Swimming.
Sharks competitors include:
Following the Junior National Championships, Katz and Cattermole will represent the Sharks in the 2015 Phillips 66 National Championships Aug. 6 through Aug. 10, in San Antonio, Texas.
During the meet, which is an open meet meaning it’s open to swimmers of all ages, Katz will be vying for a spot on the United States’ world junior championship team.
Although some countries, such as Jamaica, already chose their teams, the United States doesn’t choose its world team until the end of the summer.
SARASOTA — Keanan Dols is preparing to stand alone.
With the entire world looking on, the Pine View School junior will forgo the traditional red, white and blue of the United States for the black, green and yellow of his native homeland.
The 16-year-old Sarasota Sharks swimmer will represent Jamaica at the 5th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Aug. 25 through Aug. 30, in Singapore. Dols, who also swims for Riverview during the high school season, will be the lone Jamaican swimmer competing at this year’s championships.
The FINA World Junior Championships will mark Dols’ second international meet. Dols also represented Jamaica at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships last spring.
“There’s nothing like representing your country,” Dols says. “It was really cool (hearing) I made the (world) team. I’m really excited because I’ve never been to that part of the world before.”
A native of Jamaica, Dols learned to swim in the crystal blue Caribbean waters when he was 3 years old. He joined the Sharks two years later after his family moved to Florida.
Since then, Dols has developed into one of the Sharks' most decorated swimmers. But its his versatility and ability to move from one stroke to the next that has helped set Dols apart from his competition.
When he first began swimming competitively, Dols primarily focused on the breaststroke. But when he was 11 years old, Dols switched his focus to the butterfly. And now, five years later, Dols’ signature event is the 200-yard backstroke.
“It wasn’t one of my better events at the time, but now it’s my best stroke,” Dols says. “It’s the easiest for me.”
In addition to the backstroke, Dols also routinely swims the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
During last year’s CARIFTA Swimming Championships, Dols won the 200-meter backstroke in the boys 15-17 age group, hitting the wall in 2 minutes, 8.91 seconds. He also earned a silver medal in the 400 individual medley, finishing the race in 4:40.14 to break a 36-year-old record. The previous mark was 4:41.80.
Dols later earned a bronze medal in the 400 medley relay, finishing in 4:02.77 to help beat the previous national age group record of 4:04.23. He also finished third in the 100 backstroke.
“I’ve always been in the water,” Dols says. “It’s where I’m at home. It’s where I am every day.”
When he’s not competing, Dols is busy training with the Sharks. He trains six days a week with the team — four of which are double practice days. Dols spends anywhere between two and four and a half hours in the pool, depending on the day.
Dols swims an average of 6,000 to 7,000 meters during practice, which typically consists of a warm-up, underwater kick set, sprints, a main set and a warm down. It may seem like a lot at times, but Dols doesn’t consider being in the pool any work at all.
“It’s what I love to do,” Dols says.
Dols will spend the next few weeks training before traveling to San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships July 30 through Aug. 3. Dols is one of 12 Sharks swimmers who will be competing in the meet.
Dols will then prepare to travel across the globe to represent Jamaica in the FINA World Junior Championships where he hopes to make a final in at least one of his events.
“It’s provided me a lot more opportunities,” Dols says. “I’m just looking forward to going and experiencing fast swimming and competing against the best 18 and under (swimmers) in the world.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].