As a 10-year-old swimmer, Wesley Slaughter needed a kick start.
His father, John, provided the incentive.
"He pointed out that I had a chance to make (Duneland Swim Club's) state (200 medley) relay team," said Wesley, who swam the freestyle anchor leg for the eventual champions. "That was a lot of motivation for me. I hadn't been going to practice too often, maybe two or three times a week. I realized that if I put work into it, I could get a lot out of it."
Slaughter hasn't tapered off in his training, and the freshman is already making a mark for the defending state champion Trojans.
At last Saturday's Panther Invite at Indianapolis North Central, he swam personal-best times to finish second in the 100 free (48.34) and fourth in the 200 free (1:47.11). His career-best 50 split (21.51) helped the Trojans win the 200 free relay.
"He has been phenomenal. He's getting the job done every day," Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. "He's really coming into his own. There's no backing down from him."
Slaughter embraces training with a roster that includes individual state record holders Blake Pieroni (100 free) and Aaron Whitaker (100 fly, 100 back).
"Just knowing how they swim is good," Slaughter said. "Being able to see Blake in the 100 free and picking up technique and watching Aaron's backstroke and his butterfly kicks (really helps me)."
At meets, Slaughter gets a chance to compete against Pieroni in the 100 free.
"It really blows you away ... just looking a few lanes over and seeing your own teammate," said Slaughter, who was second to Pieroni at the Panther Invite. "You know you might not beat them, but to take second to the best in the state is awesome."
If that's not enough, Slaughter is also teaming with the four Division I recruits (Pieroni, Aaron and Ethan Whitaker and Jack Wallar) when he takes part in the 200 and 400 free relays.
"You don't even realize what it happening, then you see them swim a 20 (second) split. Those guys are swimming so fast," Slaughter said. "I just have to be ready to go."
So far, Slaughter has been up to the challenge, and he's impressing his coach.
"I think there's a little bit of a surprise that he's gotten (to this point) pretty fast. We were looking at him having the potential to do this," Kinel said. "With his work ethic, I think the sky is the limit for him."