Haywood placed sixth in the 100 breaststroke at last week’s FHSAA state championship meet.
Rob Haywood recently capped off his senior swim season by swimming the 100-yard breaststroke at the FHSAA State Championships in Stuart and finishing sixth overall. It was Haywood’s third state championship appearance in four years with the Chargers. He also swims for Tampa Bay Athletic Club-Brandon.
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How did you feel going into the meet?
I was mainly excited because I had been training for so long and working at it for a long time with a clear goal in my mind of what I wanted. I wasn’t really nervous because I knew that I had prepared the way I wanted to.
How would you say this season has been for you?
I actually faced a lot of adversity in the season. I developed something called Vocal Cord Dysfunction… it’s really hard to get a lot of breath in. It was really hard to train that way. I had to get out of a lot of sets. It just came down to communicating with my coach and letting him know sometimes I’ll have to get out. It’s mainly about doing other things that will also help you… it’s about compensating for the training you lose.
When did you start swimming and what got you into it?
I was interested in swimming on a team ever since I learned how. The problem was that all the clubs were super far away, so I never got to do it. One time I joined a summer league and we found a team that was five minutes away from our house… as soon as that season was over, I knew I wanted to do more. I loved it.
Do you play any other sports?
I played soccer when I was younger and tried a bunch of sports, but then I settled on swimming.
What's the best advice you’ve gotten from a coach?
My head coach, Dave Gesacion, I used to have a lot of problems with overthinking my races and he told me not to think about what the other guys are doing. He told me to just have fun and stay in my own lane physically and mentally.
What's your proudest moment as a Charger?
Every year when we’d win Western Conference championships. It’s not just because we’re winning, it’s because everybody on the team is at that meet. Everybody does their part and everybody gets their points. I’m a captain this year and I feel really proud that I’m a leader in something where everybody is contributing and we end up being champions of our conference.
What are your college plans?
I’m currently looking to swim at Harvard. I haven’t been accepted yet but I’ve applied and have been talking to their coach for a while. I’m probably going to major in engineering. I’ve always really enjoyed math, it’s sort of like the other passion of mine, and engineering is like the application of math in real life.