COACH STEVE PULLS OFF HAT TRICK AT US MASTERS NATIONALS
By Rani Henderson - West Hawaii Today
Kona’s Steve Borowski pulled off an impressive hat trick over the weekend by sweeping all three swimming events he entered at the 2017 US Masters Summer National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Borowski competed in the men’s 70-74 age group, winning the 100-meter freestyle on Saturday in a time of one minute and 5.54 seconds, the 50-meter butterfly in 30.81 seconds, followed by the 50-meter freestyle in 27.93.
Borowski’s time in the 50-meter freestyle was also just two-tenths of a second off the current world and national record set in 2015 by Richard Abrahams.
“My goal was just to do my best and not worry about place, time or even the race,” Borowski said over the phone. “For me, the journey was 90-percent, and the race was the end of it.”
Borowski added that while he has always been really good at controlling the psychological side of things when it comes to racing, he was surprised to find that he had trouble controlling his pre-race emotions, including feeling a little scared right before the race.
“My heart rate was really high during the warm ups, and even during breakfast and throughout the day,” Borowski said with a laugh. “I kept telling myself to settle down but I think I was just really excited.”
On his first event, the 100-meter freestyle, Borowski found himself seeded in the lane next to Andrew McPherson, the one competitor favored to win all the events that Borowski planned to compete in.
“I was just behind him on the first 50 (meters) on that first event in the 100 freestyle,” Borowski said. “Then I caught and passed him on the second 50 and after we finished, he told me that he couldn’t believe how fast I came by him at the end. On the second day, I think I was behind him on the dive getting off the block on the 50 butterfly, but I was strong on the second half.”
And in Borowski’s final event, the 50-meter freestyle, he thought that it would be his weakest event. Turns out he nearly matched the world and national record of 27.71.
“I was placed in Lane 1 so I really couldn’t see how everyone else was doing,” he said. “So I just closed my eyes and went as hard as I could. I think I only took like three breaths and on that last lap, I actually swallowed a bunch of water. I felt like I was dying as I had no air for the last 15 meters or so. So when I finished, I was almost afraid to look at the scoreboard. But when I saw my name at the top I was like, oh my god! I couldn’t believe it!”