Swimmer of the Year: Levreault-Lopez lives to improve as a swimmer
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
March 23, 2014 04:00 AM | 1148 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alarii Levreault-Lopez
<BR>Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
Alarii Levreault-Lopez
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
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Woodstock’s Alarii Levreault-Lopez isn’t just a great individual swimmer. He’s a great teammate, too.

Levreault-Lopez, who placed seventh in the 100-yard butterfly at the Class AAAAAA state meet, didn’t limit himself to competing in the events in which he excelled.

Woodstock coach J.T. Gillin used the Cherokee County Invitational as a reference for that.

Gillin approached Levreault-Lopez about swimming the breaststroke, an event he typically doesn’t compete in. Gillin believed it was an area in which Levreault-Lopez could earn points for the team.

“I knew we had a big hole and needed him,” Gillin said. “We knew that even in his off-event, he could beat everyone else in the county. He was on board with that. He just said he would do whatever is best for the team.”

A three-year letter-winner for the Wolverines, Levreault-Lopez has become a swimmer his teammates can count on. In addition to his individual events, he also contributes in relays, usually swimming the anchor leg.

Not only has Levreault-Lopez been a strong swimmer for three seasons, he’s continuing to progress.

“He is taking it to the next level, where he was even in the hunt for the state championship in the 100 fly,” Gillin said. “He continues to work hard in practice every day and with his club team. I think he has very high standards for himself.”

For his achievements this season, Levreault-Lopez is the Cherokee Tribune 2013-14 Boys Swimmer of the Year.

It’s the second straight year Levreault-Lopez has won the award, and Gillin thinks the junior has what it takes to win the award three years running when he gets in the pool for his senior season. Gillin also thinks a state title could be in Levreault-Lopez’s future if he wants it.

“The big question is whether or not the state meet will matter enough to him,” said Gillin. “He goes to so many other meets. For example, this year, he had a big meet a couple weeks after the state tournament and wasn’t totally rested like some of the other guys were. For a lot of the real elite swimmers, high school isn’t the only thing they have to worry about.”

Over the course of the season, Levreault-Lopez was also making adjustments to his freestyle routine as a way to prepare himself for not only his final year of high school, but for college and possibly nationals.

“We are hoping, when he comes out of the other end of making his freestyle changes, he will be even faster than he was before,” Gillin said. “He should be among the real top swimmers in the 200 freestyle as well.”

Gillin doesn’t see Levreault-Lopez giving up on high school swimming. In fact, it might be one of the more enjoyable things the swimmer does.

“I think that it is a lot of fun for him,” Gillin said. “For a lot of the club swimmers, high school swimming is more fun before it is more of a team thing. Alarii still has another year left, so I think it will be very fun and interesting to see what he can do. He is just going to get faster.”
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