MHS senior Myles Barney is the consummate team player. When asked what his favorite moment was from this year’s swim team, he responded by saying it was when teammate Raen Wilkinson finally beat Rachel Wheelwright in the butterfly.
“It showed just how much Raen had improved this year, because Rachel is such a good swimmer,” Barney said.
Barney’s response was typical of the kind of person he is: supportive, complimentary and perpetually happy. When he’s not competing, he can always be found at the far end of the pool, cheering his teammates on as they make their turns. And Barney is big and loud. He’s hard to miss.
When it’s Barney’s turn in the pool, his teammates gladly reciprocate.
“This year has taught me that being a friend and cheering for your teammates can mean a lot,” Barney said. “When I come to do a flip turn and I see all my friends there, it pushes me harder. I think that’s a good thing.
“We all fit in really well,” Barney added. “We’re really like a family. Some of us were talking about how some of the other swim teams have cliques and they separate into different groups. But we’re really just like a family.”
Like many of the kids on this year’s team, Barney didn’t have much experience in the world of competitive swimming. So a few years ago, he decided to give it a shot. It didn’t go exactly as planned.
“I did one summer of a club team, but then I quit because I felt like I was really slow,” he said. “Some of the kids had been swimming (competitively) since they were really young. I was 14 or 15 and I was at the same level of 10-year-olds, so I felt kind of dumb.”
Barney’s swimming career could have ended there. But thanks to the efforts of several people in the community, including Morgan High’s coaches and administrators, the Trojans brought a swim team to town. Even though he was a senior and would have only one year on the team, Barney jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
“I had always kind of hoped that we would have a swim team in Morgan,” he said. “It’s something that I like to do. So when I found out that there was going to be a team, I was really excited and pumped to try it out. I just wanted the experience of being on a swim team.”
His choice paid off and he was one of several Trojans representing the school at the state meet this week. He competed on one of Morgan’s relay teams.
It should be mentioned that Barney finally did recall a memorable experience from this year that involved only him.
“We went to this invitational,” he said. “There were only five or six of us (from Morgan) that went. I did the (50-yard freestyle) there. I lost my goggles when I jumped in the water, but I beat my (personal record). I PR’d without my goggles, so I was really proud of myself.”
After participating in track this spring, Barney will graduate from MHS and then head out on an LDS mission. Upon his return, he plans to enroll at Weber State and ultimately attend medical school.