News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

February 1, 2011

Pooling his talent at Rose

North grad Huster strokes to next level

TERRE HAUTE — John Huster is a familiar name in local swimming circles, although not having been a competitive swimmer for as long as you might think.

Still, the former Terre Haute North standout, currently a sophomore at Rose-Hulman, has made an impact in his relative few years in swimming.

Huster still owns the 100 backstroke school record set during his senior season, capping off a stellar four-year career at North. But in just his second season at Rose, Huster already owns two — count ’em — Rose school marks.

Huster is atop the Rose leaderboard in the 100 backstroke (51.94 seconds) and is a member of the fastest 200 medley relay (1:36.84).

He also the second-best marks in three other events, as a member of the 200 medley relay (1:36.84), 400 freestyle relay (3:11.81) and 400 medley relay (3:34.06).

He has also been honored as a two-time College Conference of Illinois Wisconsin swimmer of the week, once in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

“I started swimming my freshman year of high school,” Huster said before a recent practice. “I’m not really burned out.

Some of the kids I’ve talked to have been swimming their whole life and they’re kind of burned out. I’ve only been swimming five or six years. It’s still fun and I enjoy it.”

Huster downplayed owning the school record in the 100 backstroke at North, saying, “That’s the only record I have, but we took several relays to state several years.”

Can you explain your rapid rise in success since becoming a collegiate swimmer?

“Coach [Keith] Crawford [of Rose-Hulman] is doing a good job of riding practices and getting us into shape,” the mechanical engineering major said. “His workouts are really working for me. I’ve dropped times, it seems, like in every meet.

“I don’t know if I expected to do this well. I mean, I expected to drop time, maybe not as much time as I dropped this year. We’ll wait and see how much time I drop this year at [CCIW]. I’m happy with the time I’ve dropped.”

Crawford, a third-year coach of the Engineers, is very pleased to have Huster leading his team.

“John is a strong contributor in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke … those are his two primary events,” he said. “He provisionally qualified [NCAA Division III Nationals] a year ago in both of those events. Pretty close to national qualifying times in both those [this year]. He’s also strong in the 1,500 freestyle.”

Personal goals this season?

“Hopefully I can get the nationals cut for the 100 fly and 100 back,” Huster replied. “Need to drop about a second and a half. [Automatic qualification] is my goal. But if I get close and get pulled in, that would be good, too.”

Huster is at Rose primarily for the academics and bright future afforded its graduates. Still, he enjoys being able to continue his competitive swimming career.

“Rose was my first choice, academics definitely,” Huster stated. “Swimming is kind of a release from stress from school for me. So it’s nice to have around.”

• Men’s team doing well also — As mentioned before, Rose is enjoying a resurgence in the men’s swimming program, thanks to a strong youth movement.

“We’re having one of our better years in school history,” Crawford stated. “I would say our top two performances of the year is tying Wabash College in a dual meet, then we were third in the DePauw Invitational.

While that doesn’t sound like a strong endorsement of their season, that is a huge improvement over the recent past.

“We only had one previous victory over Wabash, so to tie them on that day was a significant accomplishment,” Crawford noted. “Our highest finish we’ve ever had at the DePauw Invitational.”

Huster is not the only success story for the Engineers, Crawford stressed.

Matt Ross, a sophomore, “is going to be very close to qualifying in the 200 butterfly”. Ross was a championship finalist in the CCIW meet in the 400 IM and 200 butterfly last year, then finished in the top three in all his individual events at the DePauw Invitational.

Andrew Pogorski, a freshman, “has potential to qualify for the national meet in the 100 breaststroke.”

“Coach did a good job recruiting freshmen this year,” Huster added. “Pogorski, Logan Ryan, Aaron Foreman. We’re all just doing good this year. Dropping time, moving up, doing good.”

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