Thrilled to Be Getting Final High School Season, Tennant Stepping Up for PHS Boys’ Swimming
BIG TEN: Princeton High boys’ swimming star Owen Tennant heads to victory in the 200-yard freestyle last week in a virtual meet against Trenton. PHS posted a 130-36 win over the Tornadoes to improve to 9-0. The Tigers will look to culminate an undefeated campaign as they take on Lawrence and Steinert in virtual meets this week in their final action of 2021. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Owen Tennant has been a stalwart of the Princeton High boys’ swimming team over the last three years, but he wasn’t sure if he would get the chance to have one final campaign in the water.
“COVID was getting bad and I think what was discouraging was that the season was pushed back all the way to February,” said Tennant.
“When it was originally pushed back, I truly didn’t think we were going to have a season.”
Fortunately, those fears proved to be unfounded as PHS decided to go ahead with a 2021 campaign.
“In mid-January, coach Mis [PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz] said they were looking to have a season and it would only be six weeks,” recalled Tennant. “That came out to be true, I am happy it did happen.”
With schools competing through virtual meets, which has each team swimming separately at its own pool and then sharing times to calculate the score, Tennant acknowledges that it has been an adjustment.
“We are not able to meet the teams and race them,” said Tennant.
“The atmosphere is very different because I feel as though you get a lot of your motivation from racing the other team. You have the scores posted, they keep getting updated. Now they could be swimming a few days later.”
Still, Tennant has been able to push himself, winning the 200-yard freestyle as PHS defeated Trenton High 130-36 in a virtual meet last week to improve to 9-0.
“That is the thing with swimming, it is a very individual sport,” said Tennant.
“There is a team aspect but it is really an individual sport so it is just you against the clock. You always try to push yourself to get that best time so it doesn’t really matter who is around you. It can help obviously because of the emotion and you are right next to someone and in the last 25 you are going to give your all.”
With the boys’ squad competing with fewer swimmers this season than in the past, it has utilized individual talent to go undefeated as it heads into the last week of the season.
“We don’t have as many boys as last year,” said Tennant, who will look to help PHS clinch an undefeated campaign as it takes on Lawrence and Steinert in virtual meets this week in their final action of 2021.
“I think the thing about this season is that the boys that we do have are good swimmers. We may not have the same depth as other teams, but we definitely have the skills.”
As a team captain, Tennant has made an effort to spend more time with his teammates this winter.
“I am a club swimmer with Whitewaters, so I don’t go to every high school practice,” said Tennant, who will be swimming at the next level, having committed to attend Colorado College and compete for its Division III program.
“Compared to previous years when I would do my first five practices and then come once a week, I have been trying to come two or three times a week. I have really enjoyed that. I have gotten to know the team a lot better. It is really nice to see people; it makes you feel like you are returning to normality a little bit. It is what we need in these times.”
Coach Misiewicz has enjoyed seeing Tennant compete over the last four years.
“Owen has been an all-star, he came in as a freshman and was a powerhouse in the counties,” said Misiewicz.
“He was a force to be reckoned with. He hasn’t let up throughout his entire high school career. He truly is someone who will do anything and everything for the team. He will do any event.”
In addition to bringing competitive fire and versatility to the program, Tennant has positively impacted the spirit on the deck.
“He is obviously a club swimmer so he is not with us every day but when he is here, he is here to have fun, to get to know people and be that leader on the team,” said Misiewicz.
“Not that he wasn’t mature as a freshman but he was much more quiet. He fell into this senior captain leadership role. You hate to lose him after this year. We are happy that we had a season and at least got to end the high school career together.”
Tennant, for his part, is determined to end his high school career on a high note.
“At this point, since we are undefeated and I think we have beaten the toughest competition, our main goal right now is to keep undefeated,” said Tennant. “We need to keep pushing ourselves and just keep getting our best times.”