Rogers senior swimmer Christian Barrett has been a mainstay in the Rams’ pool since he was in ninth grade.
Barrett, whose times in two events this season already have qualified him for a fourth consecutive appearance at the Class 4A swimming and diving state championships, is the leader of his team.
Not only that, Rogers head coach Stefani Fersch said Barrett is one of the best swimmers she’s ever coached.
“Christian is an amazing all-around kid,” Fersch said. “He is a true leader in every sense of the word and is the first one here and the last to leave. He is going to be a really hard act to follow.”
Fersch admires the fact that, even though Barrett is a superstar, he carries himself as a regular member of the team.
“He is one of those kids who could showboat and be a bragger if he wanted to, but he never says a word about himself,” Fersch said. “He is always doing what he can to help the team.
“Christian doesn’t pay attention to what other people may worry about. He pays attention to motivating his team and being a great leader. If you watch our team cheering their teammates on, it is him leading it.”
Barrett said he hopes to finish in the top six in the state in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200 freestyle in February. He wants to help take two of Rogers’ relay teams to state as well.
“We are having a blast as a team,” he said. “These guys are great. Our spirit will never die, and I know that team spirit will carry on for years to come.”
The senior team captain plans to swim at the college level. Barrett said he’s being recruited by numerous programs.
“I’m just building relationships with the college coaches right now and just seeing what program I like the best,” he said. “I’m definitely excited to swim in the collegiate level and to see what that is like.”
Fersch said it will be tough to say goodbye to an athlete she has coached since 2009.
“Christian always says to me, ‘Are you going to cry when I leave?’ It is true,” Fersch said. “I have coached him for four years. We have always counted on him out there. He will do anything the coaches ask him to do.
“Christian is a happy, well-adjusted and secure young man that is going places.”