Corey Postema accomplishments in just two years of swimming competitively cannot be understated.
The sophomore swimmer has already broken records and accomplished feats that haven't been seen in nearly a decade at Thornton Fractional. He has also found just what he was looking for when he switched to swimming as a sport.
Postema, a soccer player before joining the swim team his freshman season, was looking for a change of sports pace and to stay in shape in the offseason. Swimming seemed to fit both criteria. And it didn't hurt that his mom and two of his aunts were once swimmers at Thornton Fractional.
"My mom just brought swimming up one day, and I said why not," Postema said. "It gave me something to do in the off season. It was just something that over the season I progressed and progressed, and I just fell in love with the sport."
Postema won the 100-meter backstroke Saturday at the Shepard Invitational with a time of 57.97, accomplishing a feat no Thornton Fractional swimmer has been able to accomplish since 2007 — win an event at the Shepard Invitational.
"It's tough with the early morning practices, but it really pays off when you win," Postema said. "It's a lot of dedication. It's a lot of early mornings and a lot of late nights with homework and swim practice."
Postema has also broken T.F.'s freshman/sophomore 50 freestyle record with a time of 23.60.
"I definitely want to go to state long term," Postema said. "But for this season, I just want to keep breaking my personal bests. In the 100 back specifically, I want to get below a 56 seconds."
Postema's coach, Chris Simich, credited the swimmer's off-season routine of swimming with the Lansing Swim Organization as key to the sophomore's success in the pool.
"We have a very good working relationship with LSO," Simich said. "Coach Art Czarobski has been volunteering for us this season and helping us out. I can't sing Art's praises enough. Between swimming with us last season and working with Art in the offseason, (Postema) has really turned into something special."
In turn, Postema credits Simich and Czarobski for giving him much needed one-on-one guidance and training as a swimmer.
"When I started my freshman year, I wasn't anything special," Postema said. "My coaches, especially Coach Art, have really worked a lot with me. Eventually, I started dropping times, and I noticed myself getting better my freshman year."
Simich said he saw early in Postema's freshman season that made him think he could become something special for the Thornton Fractional team.
"I'm able to put him in really any event," Simich said. "And he swims very well. We knew Corey was going to be a pretty special kid after the first meet his freshman year."