A double threat in the pool, Evans’ Dillon Keeler saved his best for last and was named The Augusta Chronicle’s Boys Swimmer of the Year.
Keeler tied for first in the 1-meter dive at the CSRA Championship while placing second in the 100-yard breaststroke and was named the CSRA Male Athlete of the Year.
Following up on that performance, the senior took seventh in the 1-meter dive at the Georgia High School Association State Swimming and Diving Meet on Feb. 8. Then he was part of two top-10 relay teams as the Knights finished eighth in the state.
“It was exciting to be able to excel in both swimming and diving and have a great year, if not just the best year of my high school career,” Keeler said.
His diving performance at the CSRA Championship helped motivate him heading into the state competition.
“Tying with CJ (Simmons), that was a big confidence boost,” Keeler said of his Greenbrier rival who was previously unbeaten and untied during the indoor season. “That was the first time doing that or getting close to beating him.”
Knowing it was his last go-round helped push him.
“I think it was just me realizing that this is going to be my last time competing in diving,” he said. “It just made we want to go out strong and do my absolute best.”
Keeler got into swimming because of a bad left hip.
“When I was 8, the doctor diagnosed me with Perthes Disease. The best thing for it was to swim and that’s how I got into swimming. That led me into diving,” he said.
It was the all-for-one attitude that led Keeler to diving in the first place.
Evans coach Tiffanie Douglas was just happy that Keeler was part of her team.
“He has excelled in swimming and diving through hard work and dedication to his sport and his team,” said Douglas. “He is also supportive of his teammates and willing to do whatever the team needs to be successful.”