Senior Chase Larson is the go-to guy when it comes to the butterfly on the Lincoln Northeast High School swim team. “He is really good at all the strokes, but I think fly is his favorite,” shared LNE swim Coach Kyle Hunt.
Larson confirmed that butterfly is his favorite stroke. “I love the fly,” he said. “It’s just cool that you can do a stroke that not a lot of people like to do.”
A five-time state medalist, Larson broke three school records last season (two formerly held by himself) at the conference meet. They included the 100 fly (:52.01), 200 individual medley (1:56:59) and the 100 free (:48.9). He was also part of the 200 medley relay team that broke Northeast’s school record at the state meet with a 1:40.79.
Larson has dedicated himself to swimming since age 8 when he joined the Ballard Pool summer recreation team. He said he likes both the individual and team aspects of the sport.
For a decade Larson has been swimming club in the off-season, first with the Greater Nebraska Swim Team (GNST) and now with Club Husker. His club events typically are the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 individual medley (IM). For the Rockets his mainstays are the 200 IM and 100 fly with a 200 medley relay (he usually takes the fly leg) and 400 free relay mixed in.
Hunt says the 200 IM is the big one for Larson. “He knows how to swim it. We can also anchor him on relays,” Hunt shared. “He’s good at freestyle, too.”
Larson isn’t the motivational speaker kind of leader, Hunt explained. “He would rather swim really fast and have that be his message to everybody.”
From Larson’s standpoint, the outlook for the year is bright. “I think we’re going to be a really good team,” he stated. “We have some good all-around swimmers in breaststroke, fly, IM, freestyle and a couple good backstrokers.”
The Rockets lost only a couple of veteran swimmers and have a large returning senior class (all four-year veterans), Hunt shared.
Looking ahead to the state meet next spring, Larson’s goal is to avoid false starts. One in the 100 fly last year at state disqualified him. He also hopes to return to state in the 200 IM and break his own personal record in that event.
This year’s dive team at Northeast comprises three girls and one boy - Aaron Haeffner - who took second at state last year.