In the water: Trinity swimmer preps in pool for joining Navy

Trinity Lutheran’s first year with a swim program couldn’t have come at a better time for Spencer Muhlbach.

“My plans after high school are to join the Navy,” Muhlbach said. “To do the job I want to do, swimming is a big part of it so I need to be more comfortable in the water.”

The senior looked for an indoor pool in the area where he could spend some time in the water.

“I was looking at the nearest YMCA, and the ones that have pools,” Muhlbach said. “The nearest one is at Scottsburg. I don’t want to drive down there, and I thought about Seymour High School but I didn’t know if I could get in there or not.

“Then I heard Trinity was going to start up a swim team. I thought ‘what are the chances of that,’ and I jumped on that.”

Most meets, Muhlbach swam the 100 freestyle and 200 free, although he also swam the 100 breaststroke in a meet last week at Seymour.

“I wanted to see how comfortable I felt with it,” Muhlbach said of swimming the breast. “I might want to swim it in sectionals.

“I like the 100 free the best because it is shorter.”

He swam the 100 in 1:09.16 for his best time of the season against Seymour and Providence.

He said in a meet at the beginning of the season he had a time of 1:20 and the next meet he was close to 1:10.

“It’s definitely been a learning process,” Muhlbach said. “When I first started my first exercise in the pool was a real butt kicker. I remember I was real tired after my first practice. I would always go full out on my first 25 and I wouldn’t really pace myself. Over the year I got better pacing myself through the distances and stuff.”

He said he has learned a lot about swimming this winter.

“I had never done swimming before competitively,” Muhlbach said. “My form was pretty poor, and my endurance wasn’t all there, but coach (Jennifer Brinegar) was really good making sure I’m performing the best I can.

“I watched some Olympic meets and saw their technique. Sometimes I watch other kids because we swim with a club at Columbus North Middle School. Some of the kids there are really good swimmers.

He said his two favorite pools have been Seymour and Jennings County.

This weekend, Muhlbach’s goal at sectional is to drop his time.

“I’m just going into sectionals and try not to get all freaked out by all the number of schools, and just focus on doing the best I can,” Muhlbach said.

He said he plans to stay active in the water by competing in club meets this spring.

“I hope the program keeps going,” Muhlbach said. “It’s a good sport. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding. After every practice I feel stronger, not only physically but mentally.”

He played football his freshman year at Trinity and joined the tennis team this past fall.

“Football was a great sport,” Muhlbach said. “I enjoyed the teamwork and working with the team, and the same thing with tennis and swimming. It’s all been good.”

Muhlbach said he has enjoyed being a student at Trinity Lutheran.

“Its been a good four years,” hesaid. “My classmates were awesome, the teachers were great helping me out to get better. It’s more close-knit and everybody knows everybody.

Muhlbach will leave for the Navy on Aug. 15.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Muhlbach file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Spencer Muhlbach

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Erika, Craig Muhlbach

Siblings: Justin, Brandon

Sports: swimming 1 year, football 1 year, tennis 1 year

Organizations: student ambassador, band

Plans after high school: join the U.S. Navy

Favorite team/athlete: Green Bay Packers, Clay Matthews