Kings fair well at national swim meet

Tyler King took the past eight months out of his life for a simple focus – The U.S. Masters Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis.

More than 1,600 competitors were in the meet.

King made himself standout in the men’s 25 to 29 age group from May 9 to 12 by being crowned national champion in the 50-yard butterfly (22.02), 100 butterfly (48.71) and 200 butterfly (1:54.19). King also took third in the 100 individual medley (52.11), fourth in the 50 freestyle (21.24) and 100 freestyle (46.53).

“It was kind of fulfilling for me,” he said. “I’ve been training for this about eight months, 2 1/2 hours a day, six to seven days a week.

“I really accomplished what I wanted to do, so that was good.”

King’s dietary habits were pretty strict, said his sister, Emily, who competed in the Indianapolis event as well. She could not have been prouder of her older brother.

“It was pretty awesome,” Emily, 21, said. “I know how hard he works at it. He dieted a lot and cut back on the sweets and alcohol. A lot more than I can do with classes, it’s a little more difficult.”

Tyler, a 2005 Warren G. Harding graduate and 2009 Ohio State University graduate, said it wasn’t easy.

“That was harder than than workouts. I indulged after the meet,” King said. “Lost about 15 pounds over the course of training. I was putting on muscle mass while I was losing weight.

“I think that diet really helps in the long run.”

Emily competed in the women’s 18 to 24 age group and took third place in the 50 freestyle (24.66) and 100 individual medley (1:01.63) and sixth in 100 freestyle (55.30), 50 backstroke (28.58), 50 butterfly (26.79) and 100 butterfly (59.08).

“I had a lot of fun,” she said. “It was fun to get back into it. It’s more fun for me and not the pressure of college swimming.”

Emily, a 2010 Canfield High School graduate, swims for OSU and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education in June 2014. She coaches the Canfield Swim Club in the offseason and hopes to land a coaching job when she acquires a teaching gig as well.

Tyler, who is a part-time assistant swim coach at Worthington High School, had Emily join him this year after their older brother, Nate, a 2003 Harding graduate, swam with him at nationals last year.

Nate just became a father recently and couldn’t take time to compete with Tyler.

“I mentioned it to her about a year ago or so,” Tyler said. “She seemed she was pretty interested. She did, I think, seem pretty happy with what she did. I was happy to see her do so well.”

Tyler, who is an accountant in the Columbus area, thinks he may compete for another 3 to 5 years.

“Not really sure, as long as my schedule allows,” Tyler said. “It’s not hard to train when you have something to look forward to swimming. It’s hard to keep working out every day if you have nothing to look forward to.”

So will King compete in next year’s nationals in California?

“My wife (Kendal) mentioned to me she wanted to go,” Tyler said. “That’s kind of a long trip. We’ll see.”