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South swimmer thrives at his former backup sport

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By Brad Stephens

Nathan Davis will be competing at state next weekend in what used to be his second favorite sport.

Davis, a South Oldham senior who grew up concentrating on soccer, qualified for the state swimming championships after his performance Saturday at the Region 2 championships in Louisville. Davis will be swimming in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay at the state championship Feb. 28 after going in the past as an alternate.

“I’m pretty excited,” Davis said. “It felt kind of pointless being there to watch (as an alternate), knowing I’m not really going to be able to swim. But getting a feeling what it would be like when I actually do swim (at state), it gave me motivation to work hard this year.”

Davis grew up in a military family, spending his childhood in different states and in Germany. While living in Ft. Knox as an eighth grader his sister, Stephanie Davis, nudged him to swim for Ft. Knox during the soccer offseason.

Stephanie swam for two years at Lindsey Wilson College, where she’s currently a junior in the elementary education program.

“I like swimming because it’s an individual sport and a team sport,” Stephanie said. “I wanted him to get into it and find the joy that I did.”

The Davis family moved from Ft. Knox to Crestwood before Nathan’s sophomore year and he tried out for South’s soccer team. He didn’t make it.

So Davis responded by turning his full attention to swimming. He became a vital part of South’s boys team, specializing in the breaststroke and freestyle events.

“That’s when I started to get really serious about swimming,” Davis said. “Now that I look back I wish I had quit soccer and started focusing on swimming sooner.”

Davis has replaced the team sport of soccer with the teamwork involved in swimming relays. He was part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team that won that event in January’s Oldham County Cup Challenge and said he enjoys relay racing.

“I really like just cheering for my teammates and being able to work together in an individual sport when normally you can’t,” Davis said. “I like the team bonding part of it.”

Davis also participates in USA Swimming with the Tritons team.

Davis wants to follow Stephanie’s footsteps and swim in college, he said. Bellarmine is his No. 1 choice and Lindsey Wilson his second, he added.