Trib HSSN Boys Swimmer of the Week: Indiana’s Cole Thome
By: Michael Love
Thursday, January 10, 2019 | 5:56 PM
Cole Thome brought home top-five WPIAL medals in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free at last year’s Class AA championships at Pitt’s Trees Pool.
The fourth-place finish in the 200 free and fifth-place finish in the 500 also propelled the Indiana junior to the PIAA meet at Bucknell University. He capped his season with a 13th-place finish at states in the 200 free and a 19th-place showing in the 500 free.
“Even though he had a pretty strong season last year, he was kind of unsatisfied with the way he swam at WPIALs and the championship season overall,” Indiana coach Garret Weston said.
“So that kind of motivated him to do more. He didn’t take any time off from the spring season all the way through to now.”
Weston said dry land training, strength and core work, laps in the water and competition through his Indiana YMCA club team kept Thome focused throughout the summer and fall.
Thome, who Weston said is close to 100 percent certain to return to WPIALs in the 200 and 500, owned the top time in both events in WPIAL Class AA, according to performance lists on the WPIAL website, through December’s competition.
He established both times — 1 minute, 48.75 seconds in the 200 free and 4:59.95 in the 500 — against Norwin on Dec. 20.
Thome also has posted qualifying cuts in the 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke and 100 free.
“Cole is always pushing to get faster seed times for WPIALs and hoping to add to his qualifying list,” Weston said.
Cole has some company from brother Kyle at the top of the list in the 200 free. Kyle posted a time of 1:51.42 at Indiana’s meet with Armstrong on Dec. 17, and that was the second-fastest on the WPIAL performance list through December.
“Cole and Kyle really push each other to be their best,” Weston said.
The brothers were part of the Indiana boys 400 free relay that finished sixth at WPIALs last year. Kyle also medaled in the 500 free (eighth) and 100 butterfly (seventh).
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-388-5825, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.