TAKE 5: Cats’ junior makes splash

Miles Ware of the Clovis High swim team. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

Clovis junior swimmer Miles Ware has qualified for next week’s state swimming championships in four individual events and one relay. In his spare time, Ware hangs out with his friends on the swim team and enjoys tinkering with his 1969 Chevy Camaro SS.

What motivates you to get a faster time?
Well, I think it’s a lot of factors. One is just feeling better about yourself, and knowing all that hard work that you’ve put in. Being able to compete at the highest levels of state swimming is just an incredible feeling.

What is your favorite event and why?
I’d have to say the 200-yard individual medley. It combines all four strokes, which is a challenge in and of itself. The physical strain to get the race done is very difficult, and it takes a real strong individual to handle that kind of race.

You’ve had all of this success recently. When did you first realize you were a special swimmer?
I wouldn’t say I’m a special swimmer by any means. Everyone on this team is a special swimmer. I guess I realized it when I started to win meets.

What’s on your mind as you’re racing?
My mind is completely blank. I just run on auto-pilot. The only thing I really think about is beating the guy next to me. A lot of the time I have to race guys who are faster than me, and it’s a real challenge to push yourself and beat that guy next to you.

What is your ultimate goal for swimming?
Win at least one event at state by the time I graduate. I want to go to sectionals and junior nationals and I want to get a scholarship for swimming.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions you follow before a meet?
I always stand on the blocks and listen to “Hit the Floor” by Thousand-foot Krunch and Hand Grenade. It just gets me focused, blocks out the noise of everything at the meet and kind of calms my nerves.

Coach’s comments: “Miles is an outstanding athlete,” Clovis coach Vincent DeMaio said. “He came into the program really as a novice swimmer. He’s one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever been around. He brings a lot of competitiveness. At the highest level you need to have kids who push each other in practice.”