NEVADA, Mo. — Nevada high school senior and university of Alabama commit Ben Hines is one of the best swimmers in state. From swimmer of the year to state titles, he’s won just about every honor there is to win.
In his senior year, Hines is full steam ahead spending countless hours in the pool training to take his skills to the next level.
“I’m always feeling the urge to go further and further every time I jump in the pool and that drive just never stops,” said Hines. “Just put your nose down to the grindstone and keep going.”
While his high school career will soon be behind his, is collegiate and possibly Olympic career lie ahead.
“Next year, definitely try and get tuned up for Olympic trials,” said Hines. “Try and make a A or B final. I mean, it’s going to be tough since I’m still pretty young. But, that’s the number one goal right now.”
Winning state titles, breaking state records and training for Olympic trials are the results of years of hard work and dedication.
“A lot of long days, early mornings,” said Hines. “You want to go hang out with your friends sometimes on weekends or even week days. You just have to sacrifice the stuff you love to do to be at that level.”
While he’s locked in on his own improvement, he still manages to help his teammates get better as well, something his coach Clayton Wheeler marvels at.
“He even takes time out his sets to work with our younger guys, to help them out to teach them things,” said Wheeler. “So, they’re not learning just by watching. He’s actually getting hands on with our young guys and helping them get better, which as a coach, you know, I couldn’t ask for a better kid in the pool. You know, someone who sacrifices their training time to help a teammate out, and sometimes put his teammates first. It’s an absolute blessing to have.”
Athletes of Hines’ caliber are far and few between, especially coming from a small town, which makes his accomplishments all the more meaningful to him and his community.
“You hit the wall and I break the state record,” recalled Hines. “Everyone’s just going crazy and talking about it. It’s just an awesome feeling.”
“The people in this town and even across the state line and all around, they know who Ben Hines is,” said Wheeler. “They’ve heard of him, they’ve watched video of him swim and they just know he’s on a pretty bright path for the future and it’s just pretty amazing for this small town.”