It only is the middle of the Lackawanna League swim season, but Aidan Drouse is rounding into postseason form.
Last week, in am 86-58 victory over Elk Lake, the Scranton senior won the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and was part of two victorious relays. Then, in a 116-31 win over West Scranton, he set two West Scranton Intermediate School pool records and was part of a pool-record relay team in the 200-yard freestyle.
Drouse set a school and pool record in the 100 freestyle in 47.66 seconds. Then, swimming the leadoff leg of the 200 free relay, he swam 21.98 seconds to set the 50 free pool record. And that set the tone for he and his teammates to set the pool record in the event in 1:32.24.
Favorite teams: Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia 76ers
Athletes I admire: Michael Phelps. Obviously he’s the best swimmer ever. And I like Aaron Rodgers a lot. I think he’s a team leader.
Favorite food: Pancheros burrito. It’s classic.
Superstitions and rituals: Nothing really. I just listen to music. I blast rap music in my ears. Travis Scott.
Had you been getting close to that 100 free record? I beat my time that I swam at districts last year. So I kind of picked up where I left off last season, which is pretty promising since it’s halfway through the season.
Do you prefer setting an individual or relay record? I definitely setting relay records. It’s something to celebrate. It’s not just you; you work collectively as a team to get that record. Individual records, you’re striving for yourself. But relay records, I see my teammates working hard all season to get it so it pays off. I get a record and they can be happy about it as well.
Can you sense when you’re swimming that you’re on a record pace? Subconsciously, I think I know. If I’m reaching for the wall and I think I hope I got the record, I usually didn’t. But if I’m touching the wall and thinking I got the record, then I pretty much did. I guess I can feel a difference.
How about going into a meet? Do you know what the record of an event is and do you try to get it? The relay team record we knew about because we swam there (at West Scranton Intermediate pool) sophomore year and missed it. So we were coming back to get it. When we got to the pool I was looking at the records and I knew I could break the 100 (free). So I went up to my dad (Scranton coach Dave Drouse) real quick and was like, ‘I know I can get these times. Any way we could switch around the lineup?’ I worked it out with some of my teammates.
Describe the feeling when you touch the wall, look up at the clock and see you’ve set a record? It’s the best feeling. It’s straight euphoria. You see it and it all hits you at once. You’re so tired after a race, it’s pure emotion. You just kind of crawl out of the pool, happy it’s over with. I do get nervous before my races. I don’t want to say I dread it. But I definitely anticipate a race and there’s a sense of relief when it’s over, even if I didn’t get a record.
How do these performances help set you up for the rest of the season and the postseason? I’m on track now to break most of the times I set last year or my sophomore year. It’s definitely a confidence booster. That’s one of the most important things in having successful swims.
Goals for the rest of the season: I’d like to break some of my PRs. There’s one school record I have yet to get. Me and my brother (Nick) have all the school records; he has the 100 breast, I have all the rest besides the 200 IM. So I’d like to break that last school record. I really don’t swim the IM at all, so I’ve been kind of putting it off and focusing on other races. But now that it’s senior year I can relax a little bit and swim other races that I normally wouldn’t.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, Aaron Rodgers
Post-graduation plans: I’ve applied to a bunch of schools. My No. 1 choice is Georgetown. I’m still waiting on a response, I’ll find out in March. I plan to major in economics and swim in college.