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Feature by Swimming World intern Rachel Emodi
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 14. ZACHARY Towers, a 14-year-old swimmer from Long Island Aquatic Club (LIAC), has enjoyed much success in his swims at the 2012 CeraVe Invitational thus far. He won the boys 13-14 200-meter butterfly, the boys 13-14 100-meter free and the boys 13-14 400-metter IM, as well as set a meet record during his 200 fly swim.
Towers started swimming at age seven, first for the Huntington YMCA Bluefish, then for Old Westbury Aquatics. At age 11, he moved on to swim for LIAC.
When asked what his favorite part of swimming is, Towers said, "I get to push myself. I like to be able to say that it's one of the hardest sports and I'm pretty good at it." His coach, Ginny Nussbaum, agrees – "[Zach] is a consistently hard worker."
Towers' favorite memory about swimming "wasn't that long ago, it was a varsity [high school] meet and I was anchoring one of the relays. One of the team captains came up to me and said that he wouldn't want anyone else to swim it but me. Even though we did lose – I lost to a senior twice my size – it was still a very good swim."
When asked about breaking the 200 fly meet record, Towers said he felt "happy, considering it was a teammate's record." Towers broke Michael J. Lennon's 2009 meet record of 2:14.79 with a time of 2:13.25, a personal best by five seconds.
"It was a goal," Towers admits of breaking this record.
Another of his goals is to make a Junior Nationals cut by the time he is 15, which is in a couple months. He sees himself making the cuts for the 400 IM and the 200 butterfly. Towers' coach Nussbaum sees him becoming a "national level swimmer. He's been nationally ranked in his distance swims."
For the future, Towers said he would like "a scholarship to college. The Olympics would be cool but I'd have to work a lot harder than I am now."