If Lakeside swimming coach Tricia Newmyer needs someone to swim against one of the top backstrokers in the state, she calls on Jack Lane.
If she needs someone to pace one of her swimmers so they can qualify for the state meet, Lane is her guy. No matter what the situation, Lane is usually the answer.
And why not. Lane won the 200 meter freestyle and the 100 butterfly in the state swimming championships last season and set a state record in the 100 butterfly.
The junior already has state qualifying times in seven of eight individual events this year and has the top time in the state, regardless of classification, in five. His time of 50.49 seconds in the 100 butterfly is nearly two seconds faster than the next fastest swimmer. He also is tops in the state in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley.
Lane also holds Lakeside records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.
“I just swim whatever event my coach needs me to,” Lane said. “I definitely like swimming different events. Swimming the same event every day would get boring, and I enjoy swimming events that I don’t normally race.”
Lane and his Lakeside teammates will try to sweep the DeKalb County swimming championships for the seventh year in a row on Jan. 30 at the Dynamo Swim Club pool in Chamblee.
Lane began swimming at an early age and has been swimming for the DeKalb County-based Dynamo Swim Club since fifth grade.
“Training at Dynamo prepares you for a wide range of events,” Lane said.
Preparation is one thing Lane has plenty of, which has made him into one of the top swimmers in the state. Like most club swimmers, he trains with Dynamo most of the time but practices with Lakeside one day a week. Lane spends at least 20 hours a week in the water.
“There are people who have that natural ability,” Newmyer said. He’s not very big but he works very hard. He has lean muscle mass, and it has remained fun for him. He’s more focused and wants to help the team any way he can.”
While Newmyer will assign Lane an event depending on the opponent and other circumstances, she leaves it up to Lane to decide which races he will enter in the state meet.
“What he swims at state will be a matter of what he feels like he’s peaking at at the time,” Newmyer said.
Lane said his best strokes are freestyle and butterfly but the biggest drops in time have come in the backstroke and the breaststroke. He has shaved nearly six seconds off his best time in the 100-meter breaststroke from last season.
“This season I haven’t made as much progress as fast as I would have liked, but that’s probably because I’m mostly done growing,” Lane said. “Boys drop the most time when [they’re] 15 or 16. Now the drops come from training and tiny technical things you do. The drops won’t be as big.”
Still, with the endless hours of training, even tenths of seconds can make a big difference in short races.
And with one state record in his pocket, Lane would like to get at least one more state record this season.
“I’d like to get as many state records as I can,” Lane said. “Most likely it will be the 100 or 200 freestyle, and in the future maybe the 200 IM.”
Lane’s name is prominent on the swim team’s record-holder board at the Lakeside pool. “I’ve put his name up there, but I’m hesitant to put his times up there because I know they’re going to change over the next year,” she said.
And who knows, by the time he finishes his senior season Newmyer may need to add his name to an event or two.