Caleb Dryer makes Australian open water swim teamDoug Conway
Caleb Dryer not only won a swag of four gold medals at the NSW age swimming championships but went on to win selection in an Australian national team after switching to open water “on a whim”.
Fresh from recording a 99-plus ATAR in his final year at Trinity, he won four titles in the 17-year age group at the state championships in Sydney in January – in the 200m butterfly, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle.
A week later he competed at Adelaide’s Brighton beach in the national open water titles, winning silver in the 18-19-years category, which gained him automatic selection in the Australian junior team.
“I did it on a whim, to be honest. I had tried open water a few times before so I knew I had the ability but I hadn’t thought about it that seriously,” he said.
“I thought I might as well give it a crack, and I did pretty well.
“I didn’t want to let the opportunity go and regret it later.
“I’m happy to have finally made it into an Australian team.”
He is now bound for Russia in August to take part in the world junior championships, COVID and Ukraine border tension permitting.
“Hopefully there is not too much political unrest,” he said.
Caleb said Trinity had helped take his swimming to new levels after he arrived from the Blue Mountains in Year 10, and he had made the most of the School’s resources, facilities and coaching.
“It really helped elevated my performance,” he said.
Trinity’s Director of Swimming, Ben Tuxford, said consistency was the key to Caleb’s success.
“He is the hardest working swimmer in the pool, day in, day out. The margin between his best day and worst day in the pool is minimal,” he said.
“Caleb loves the challenge of achieving his best, no matter the vocation. This is evident in both his Year 12 school results, and his swimming results at a national level.
“All of the swimmers have outstanding time management skills. They have to, just to fit in all of their study, their 10-plus swim and gym training sessions each week, along with frequent weekend competitions.
“What I put on the whiteboard every day is important, but not as much as creating a strong connection with the athletes. Caleb and I trust each other, have confidence in each other, and I just know that he is destined for big things”.
Mr Tuxford said Caleb was a fantastic role model for aspiring student athletes.
“It’s not a frequent occurrence to have a simmer achieve 99+ in his ATAR, and win a national gold medal in the same year,” he said, referring to Caleb’s 200m butterfly win in the national age championships on the Gold Coast last April. He also won a bronze in the 800m freestyle.
“But Caleb has shown that it is possible, and you can achieve more than one dream in a year.”
“Trinity truly has all of the ingredients to support the swimmers to succeed, both in and out of the pool.”
Caleb is continuing his studies in biology and veterinary medicine at Sydney University.