HIGHLAND | The determined look in his eyes is immediately evident. The drive to succeed is always present.
All that is left for Highland senior Trevor Spiegel is to execute and fulfill his goals.
"I came in to this season wanting to drop time, obviously, but this season is a little different," he said. "I've put in almost 10 years of my life into this sport, and at some time it really does become about winning."
In today's Munster Sectional preliminaries, Spiegel is seeded fifth in the 200-yard individual medley. The top five times are within four seconds of each other, and it's common to see times drop even more than that as everyone hits their taper.
While fast enough to compete in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay this season, Spiegel knew where he was needed and told coach Ryan Harrington to leave him at his regular events, the IM and 100-yard backstroke. Spiegel also swims the backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay.
"I realized that I would benefit the team more doing strokes," he said. "We have enough sprinters, so there's no point in me going to the relay and doing what somebody else could be doing while losing points in the IM and back. It really became a personal sacrifice, but to me it's always about the team and not the swimmer."
Perhaps even more impressive than Spiegel's work ethic in the pool are his goals outside of the water. Spiegel plans to attend Purdue University, where he will give up his dream of swimming in college to pursue another goal -- to become a Navy SEAL. He'll begin that endeavor by joining the Navy ROTC on Purdue's campus.
"I wanted to do some type of special forces, and in the Navy that would be the SEALs," he said. "I grew up close to one of my uncles who's been in the Air Force for 22 years, and he's been an inspiration."
Spiegel's growth as a swimmer has been immense since his freshman season. Most notably, he's dropped 13 seconds off his 200 IM time, and didn't even qualify for the sectional finals his freshman year.
"He's day in and day out, the hardest worker on this team," Harrington said. "He sets his goals and does whatever it takes to achieve them. We have a lot of talented athletes, and I think he's worked the hardest to earn what he's got."