Despite having only three years of swimming experience, Sam Nonemaker is making a splash on the Shippensburg boys swimming team.
The sophomore swimmer jumped in the pool as a fluke in middle school, and has emerged as one of the Greyhounds' most consistent team members, claiming at least one individual win 10 of 12 dual meets this season.
Last week was no exception.
Nonemaker claimed three individual first-place finishes last week as Shippensburg swept its competition over Northern York and East Pennsboro. He is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.
But for Nonemaker and the Hounds, the dual meet against Northern was one to remember.
"It was definitely an adrenaline rush that night," Nonemaker said. "It was a great atmosphere to get pumped up."
He and the rest of the Shippensburg swim team had a lot to get pumped up about. It was Senior Night and the last home meet of the season, and Nonemaker and the rest of the 400 free relay team had a goal in mind: To break the school record.
Nonemaker said, "We were all listening to music in the locker room getting pumped. We knew it was going to be a close one to get the record."
And close it was, but they did break the former record, set in 2004 by less than a second.
Nonemaker swam anchor and recorded the fastest time of his relay team, but he wasn't done there. That night, he went on to win the 200 freestyle, breaking his personal-best time in his least-favorite event, touched the wall first in the 500 free and had a hand in the Greyhounds' first-place finish in the 200 medley relay.
"The big thing that we've seen from him is consistency," Shippensburg coach Jeff Kaminski said. "He's been strong all year long and he continues to do the little things right."
Nonemaker's wins last week, just a week before the Mid Penn Conference meet, came at the right time to get him motivated for that competition.
"He has a lot of raw potential and continues to develop and gets stronger," Kaminski said. "He already has the mindset, and has the potential to be one of the best swimmers to come out of our area."
Nonemaker said, however, he is most excited to see his team progress in conference and district competition, and hopes his 400 free relay team can break its own record on the MPC stage.
"It's really cool for the entire team, I think, to see everyone progress throughout the season," Nonemaker said. "Our coach did a really great job getting the times to drop for people on the qualifying bubble, and to help swimmers get down into those Mid Penn times.
"I have a really good coach, that would be part of (my success). I guess it's an attitude kind of thing. You have to be open to new ideas and training methods, and you have to always give it your all."
Sam Nonemaker, Shippensburg
Parents: Kara and Adam Nonemaker
Other interests: He also plays soccer, and was a jumper in track & field.
Interesting fact: Nonemaker was cut from the basketball team in 7th grade, and decided to try out for swimming as a backup plan. The rest is history.
Favorite athlete: Wayne Rooney
Favorite team: Manchester United
Statistics: Nonemaker had a pair of wins against Northern York last week, with a lifetime-best time in the 200 freestyle, and brought home a in the 500 free ... He also swam anchor in Shippensburg's school-record breaking win in the 400 free relay, and in the 200 medley relay ... He also claimed first in the 100 free, 200 medley relay and 200 free relay against East Pennsboro.