Rutecki heats up pool for Wyoming [Swimming]

February 25, 2012

Give it up for Juneau’s Nick Rutecki.

Not only did the University of Wyoming swimming star earn all-conference honors in four different events at the MPSF Championships, he broke two school records and set a personal record in his specialty event.

“I bettered my 50 free time for the first time since my junior year of high school,” Rutecki told me. “We smashed most the records.”

The sophomore was part of two record-setting relay teams in the 200 medley and 400 free. Even better, he did it with another Alaska swimmer on the relay team in Wasilla’s Jeff Frey.

“We always brag about how great Alaska is,” Rutecki said. “It’s really fun being on a team with so many Alaskans.”

Wyoming also includes Seward’s Ryan O’Leary, who helped set a conference record with the 800 free relay team.

Together, the three Alaskans combined for 10 all-conference honors.

“We are all so young, too, and only getting better,” Rutecki said. “By the end of our careers we will probably be going to NCAAs on relays and maybe individually as well.”

The MPSF Championships probably felt like the national championship for Rutecki, who swam the 50 free faster than ever before – 20.54 seconds.

“I’m a sprinter; I can go extremely fast but cannot hold it,” he said.

He may not hold his stamina, but he does hold his breathe.

“I don’t breath during the 50 free,” he said.

Rutecki, a mechanical engineer major, also shines in the 50 fly as part of the 200 medley relay, going 21.4 at the conference meet.

“I’m pretty sure I had the second-fastest 50 fly in our conference,” he said. “The kid who beat me had the fastest 50 fly time in the nation last year.”