March 22, 2014 11:34PM
By LARRY KELLEY
Sun Sports Staff
WESTERLY — Just looking at the Westerly High boys’ swimming record book would not do complete justice to the outstanding achievements of Bulldog senior Logan Hellwig.
Even scanning his name in the Rhode Island state record book to see his 50-yard freestyle record is not enough to accurately depict Hellwig’s stature in the pool.
How about All-America? That’s a status worthy of Hellwig’s swimming feats this season.
Though it is not yet official, Westerly coach Willie Barber believes there is an excellent chance that Hellwig will soon learn he has attained All-America status in the backstroke.
As of mid-March, Hellwig owned the 51st fastest 100-yard backstroke time nationally in 51.3.
“The top 100 backstroke times in the nation earn All-America, and Logan had the 50th fastest (as of March 17),” Barber said. “He’s under consideration for All-America, which requires an incredibly fast time just for that. His times are just unreal.”
For the record, Hellwig holds Westerly swimming records in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and as part of the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
Westerly produced a respectable regular season (4-3, 4-2 Division II record), but shone in postseason, finishing fifth in the state meet, headlined by Hellwig.
“Logan can swim any stroke well,” Barber said. “He sets his sights on a record and goes after it. And aside from being such as prolific swimmer, he was a great leader and a wonderful aide to me this season as a first-year coach. He’s getting attention from Division I college swimming programs, but has not yet made a decision.”
Hellwig was named Division II male swimmer of the year and earned Coaches All-State first team for winning the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the state meet. He made Coaches All-State second team in the 200 freestyle relay with junior Phil Miguel, sophomore Mark Walker and senior Callam Gunn. That quartet finished second at the stae meet with a time of 1:33.23.
“That relay was seeded fifth and came out of nowhere to finish second,” Barber said. “They swam 1:38 all season. To drop five seconds is nuts, but they all swam personal bests in splits and did a great job improving their starts and turns.”
Hellwig, Miguel, Walker, Gunn and freshman Alex Gomes also garnered Division II first-team honors. Hellwig won the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke and swam on the victorious 4x200 medley relay with Walker, Gomes and Miguel, and on the 4x200 freestyle relay with Miguel, Walker and Gunn.
Miguel added a Division II second-team honor in the 50 freestyle, and Walker was Division II second team in the 100 butterfly.
“Seeing everyone’s time drop throughout the season was awesome,” Barber said. “Every single one of these swimmers recorded personal bests by the end of the year. It was very rewarding to witness it.”