Champney: A tough season

A year ago, swimmer Tim Champney was the GW Senior Male Athlete of the Year. So, all the better for Champney, the one-time transfer from Auburn University, that he still had another year of eligibility left.

But it didn’t quite turn out like he had hoped.

It wasn’t great, he said. But I kinda knew that coming in. The training we did this year was different, but it was a really bad atmosphere . It was a tough season.

Although Champney may find out soon that he qualified for the NCAAs again – and he’s already qualified for the Olympic Trials – he says he wasn’t very motivated this year.

And although Champney is still training under GW Coach Dan Rhinehart, and he’s careful to not insult someone he says he likes, he said he felt Rhinehart was a big part of his lack of motivation.

He was an amazing assistant coach, Champney said of Rhinehart, who is in his second year as head coach at GW. But it was a tough transition for him. That’s what I think. He may not think so.

Champney said that Rhinehart, who could not be reached for comment, may have more success when he gets swimmers he’s recruited, but for the current crop, Champney said Rhinehart lacked something.

Dan’s a little more laid back, Champney said. You have to be real self-motivated, and I just didn’t have it.

Champney also felt some of his lack of motivation this year stemmed from his natural progression toward the real world. As a grad student, his focus shifted this year to his degree in exercise science.

Champney can now see the end of his competitive swimming career looming. In Indianapolis in August, he will compete in what he says will be his final races, the 100- and 200-meter backstroke at the Olympic Trials. Only the top two will make the Olympics.

It’s tough, he said. I’ll be happy if I just make the top eight. But I’m pretty happy that the Olympic Trials will be my last meet. It’s obviously every kid’s goal to go to the Olympics. I’m realistic about my chances, though.

Champney says the best part of the Trials is the name. After all his achievements, nothing sounds quite so prestigious as the Olympics.

Now my grandparents can know little Timmy’s OK, he said.

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