HIGHLAND | When Chris Dabrowski talked about his performance at last season's boys swimming state meet, the look of disappointment was evident.
The Highland junior qualified for state last season in the 500 free and was part of the 400 free relay, but neither event made it past the Friday preliminaries.
As a freshman, Dabrowski made it in both events, helping the 400 relay to a 12th place finish (3:14.24).
"I felt more at home at state, and I felt I could have done a lot better there and it pained me to not do as well (last season)," Dabrowski said. "Hopefully, I can rectify that when I go back to state."
Highland coaches Ryan Harrington and Nick Castillo have worked with Dabrowski on his high turnover and lack of kick which hurt his times, which, in part, led to him not having the strong sophomore year he thought he would.
That work has already paid dividends in practice, Harrington said.
"He's matured quite a bit," Harrington said. "He understands a little more about swimming, which is huge for him. He's understanding the physics more and how to move water."
The most experienced swimmer at state meets for the Trojans, the soft-spoken Dabrowski tends to keep to himself. However, Harrington is looking for him to serve as an example to the other kids on his team.
"He would have to (be a leader)," Harrington said. "He's one of our hardest trainers day in and day out. He gives 100 percent, and one of his positive attributes is his intensity."
A swimmer since age 5, Dabrowski owns a 200 free personal best of 1:47.80 and a 500 free time of 4:47, both of which were set his freshman year.
Dabrowski not only is aiming to shatter those records, but take his talents back to Indianapolis and acquire a top 16 finish in those two events and the 200 free.
"I think so," Harrington said of the feasibility of attaining those goals, "as long as he continues training the right way and progressing. He's a motivated young man."