BILLINGS — Jack Leuthold is one of the best swimmers ever to compete for Billings Central.
The gifted freestyle competitor owns eight State A titles in the pool (three team, one relay and four individual). Leuthold’s dominant events are the 50 freestyle, 200 free, 200 free relay and the 500 free.
For those wondering about grades, he earned academic all-state for the Rams during all four of his years.
When asked about the dedication of staring at pool floors day after day, year after year, Leuthold says it doesn’t dampen his drive. He loves the sport that much.
When asked about years of grinding through the daily effects of chlorine, all he can do is laugh.
“It is tough, it is bad,” he said, smiling. “My mom’s always bugging me about how bad my hair is. It’s like, I can’t do much about it.”
He’s also aware of how high swimming’s burnout rate can be for athletes who tire of spending hours in the pool daily.
“It’s a hard sport to get into,” Leuthold said. “I’ve seen people who absolutely love it, to swim for the rest of their years, and then people who absolutely hate it.”
Earlier this year Leuthold raced his first Speedo Winter Junior Nationals in Austin, Texas, and earned a fourth-place medal.
As for the chlorine and dedication? They’ve paid off with a scholarship to swim for the Big 10’s Wisconsin Badgers.
The Midland Roundtable will announce one male and one female winner during the Athlete of the Year banquet on Wednesday, May 15, at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.