Wolf ends stellar career on high note

Central's Trevor Wolf, The Northern Virginia Daily's 2015 Boys Swimmer of the Year, ended his four-year swimming career with two top 10 finishes at the Group 3A state meet and was the area's top boys swimmer in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 free. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Trevor Wolf packed a little extra punch into his preparation for his senior season with Central High School’s boys swim team.

In his first three seasons, Wolf, a four-year varsity swimmer for the Falcons, had waited until the start of practice in November to dive into his swimming routine. But the circumstances surrounding this season – he was coming off just missing out on a state medal with a ninth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, and it was his final year of high school swimming – prompted Wolf to take a more determined approach.

This time around, Wolf did some summer recreational swimming for the “first time in years” according to Falcons coach Steve Shaffer, and he began his individual preparation in September by doing his own swim workouts at Signal Knob Recreation Center in Strasburg.

“I felt like I came in this year with a lot more energy,” Wolf said recently. “I started swimming before the season even started, so I really wanted to do well this year. Not just because of that [state meet last season] but also because it was my last year to swim.”

Though Wolf ultimately saw his senior season end without a state medal – he fell just short once again in two individual races at the Group 3A state meet in Christiansburg – that extra work did produce plenty of positive results.

Wolf took the top spot on the Conference 28 meet in the 50 free and placed second in the 100 free at that event, placed in the top eight in both races at the Region 3A East championships and finished in the top 10 in both at the state meet. As the anchor in Central’s 200 free and 400 free relay teams, Wolf also helped the Falcons to second-place conference finishes in those two races, and Central’s 400 free relay team would go on to place sixth in the region and 12th in the state.

For his accomplishments, Wolf has been named The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2015 Boys Swimmer of the Year.

“At the start of the season my times weren’t really dropping as compared to … the end of last season, but toward the end of this season things really started to pick up for me,” said Wolf, who led the area in the 50 free and 100 free.

Wolf entered the 2015 postseason looking to crack the top eight in the state in the 50 free after a bout with food poisoning last season left him with a “discouraging” ninth-place finish.

But the senior actually dropped a spot to 10th in the event this winter despite swimming both the preliminary and championship heats in 22.91 seconds, which was just off Wolf’s school record mark (22.89). Wolf was narrowly beaten in the preliminary heat by New Kent’s Josh Bell (22.86) for a spot in the “A” heat of the finals.

“It is what it is. The guy that was eighth beat me out by five one-hundredths of a second,” Wolf said. “When it comes to doing a 50 there’s a lot factors that can make those five one-hundredths, like if I would’ve gotten off the block a little bit quicker or stretched my arm out a little bit more at the end. But I mean, you can’t really think about those what-ifs.”

But Wolf also got a positive surprise in Christiansburg when he placed ninth in the 100 free with a personal best and school record time of 50.77 seconds.

“I’d definitely say the best moment was probably after the 100 freestyle at states because that was an event that was kind of frustrating me all this season, then at the end there I dropped like two seconds,” Wolf said. “That doesn’t seem like a lot to a person, but for a swimmer two seconds is a lot of time.”

Shaffer said earlier that day in Christiansburg, he and former Central team captain John Feaster talked to Wolf about finishing his career on a positive note by trying to win the “B” heat of the 100 free championship, which Wolf was able to accomplish.

“That night in the 100 he just was very, very focused and he won that heat in his 50-point, career best and had just the phenomenal swim that we knew was in him,” Shaffer said. “It was very exciting for him that all the hard work was well worth it. He’ll now have a story to tell his grandkids and/or his swimmers one day if he ends up coaching.”

Wolf’s performance at the Group 3A state meet came after a successful two-week period in the Conference 28 and Region 3A East championships in the weeks prior.

At the conference meet, Wolf won the 50 free with a time of 23.57 seconds and placed second in the 100 free (53.60).

“Yes, I got first and second in a couple of events but my times at that point really weren’t all that good,” Wolf said. “Going into regionals then the next week I was really gearing up for that, trying to drop those times.”

Wolf did that at the regional meet, placing third in the 50 free (23.35) and seventh in the 100 free (52.69), while shaving some time off both events.

Wolf said the success he experienced during his senior swim season at Central was a good way to end his high school career, during which he qualified for the state meet in each of his four years. He also leaves the Falcons’ swimming program as the school-record holder in the 50 free, 100 free and the 200 free, and he was a member of two school-record setting relay teams (200 free and 400 free).

“He’s certainly the greatest swimmer that’s gone through Central,” Shaffer said of Wolf, who will study aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech this fall. “A combination of hard work and very talented young man. He had a very good career. Every year he dropped more time and improved records and was very much a part of the overall team improvement because all the other swimmers on the team, they were swimming with the guy that certainly raised the bar for Central swimming.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com