Will Modglin named HS Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine

Will Modglin named Swimming World Magazine High School Swimmer of the Year

The best competition brings out the best in great swimmers. That’s exactly what happened last high school season with Zionsville junior Will Modglin being named Swimming World’s 2021-22 Male Swimmer of the Year.

At the high school level, swimmers from Carmel High School at the Indiana State Championships have consistently provided one of the toughest competitions the country has to offer. Rival swimmer Will Modglin, a junior from Zionsville High School, located about 10 miles from Carmel, rose to that challenge by winning the 200-meter individual medley and 100 backstroke in two of the best national performances for high school swimmers this season.

His preliminary time in the 200 IM was 1:44.10, the third fastest of any high school swim during the school year (he was 1:45.11 in the final). In the prelims for his 100 backstroke, he clocked 46.05, the fastest high school swim in the country, before winning with a 46.16. He also had the highest score in power points – 177.1 backstroke and 175.0 MI for a total of 352.1 – to secure his selection as Swimming World High School Swimmer of the Year.

“I feel really good for the high school season,” Modglin told Swimming World. “It was a good season overall. My preliminary session of the (Indiana State) meet was great, but the final was not the best, but I was still happy with the way It was really about keeping the same momentum as last year when I had a really good year (#2 in the nation behind Oklahoma’s Aiden Hayes), and I wanted it to keep moving forward.

“We’ve had a lot of motivated guys this year, and it’s created a great training atmosphere. We pushed ourselves every day in training.

Photo courtesy: Peter H. Bick

That’s because his teammates knew a showdown with Carmel was on the horizon, and Zionsville – even being one of the best high school teams in the country – didn’t have enough depth to topple Carmel.

“It’s honestly a lot of respect,” Modglin said. “We know our team is good, but Carmel is even better. Everyone hates to lose, but at the end of the day, we have a lot of respect for them. We know when we swim against them, and when they swim against us, that we all push each other to go faster. There is a lot of mutual respect. »

And a lot of hard work to get there.

“Having three months off due to the COVID outbreak at the end probably helped him because I think Will came back more refreshed,” the Zionsville coach said. Scott Kubly says Current, a local weekly serving Zionsville. “He worked hard all season and was rewarded for that hard work with two (individual) state titles.”


Competing for the Indiana Championship was a fun memory that Modglin and his teammates won’t soon forget.

“High school swimming is definitely more about the team,” Modglin said. “We want the success of the team as a whole. When you go to state, everyone wants to bring a state championship back to their school, even a finalist. It’s more fun to swim for the team. The state of high school (meeting) is much more about points than a club meeting. I always look for that in the club, but it’s different.


Photo courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In high school, Modglin focused on her two main events instead of swimming multiple events at a club meet. This team concentration in high school particularly helped his backstroke. Modglin said he was a breaststroke and IMer before setting things up in the back.

“This last year was definitely my series of wheelhouse events following my second year. I won both events last year so I knew them well. They are my two best individual events. It was also where the team needed me, so it worked perfectly in that sense,” he said.

“The 100 dos, personally, is my submarine. This is a highlight for me, especially underwater on my back. It helps me to have a very strong 100 back, which allows me to excel in this event instead of the 100 butterfly or 100 chest.

This change took place in middle school.

“It all kind of happened when I was about 12 years old. That’s when I broke into the backstroke. Before that, I was really a brewer,” he said. “I swam the 100 at my state meet at 12 and did pretty well. I was trying to do my sub at 15 at that time. Once I saw that success while doing these subs, i saw success in my runs and started to focus on that.


That success didn’t slow down and carried through to qualifying for the United States Olympic Swimming Trials last year in Omaha. He finished in the top 40 in his best events, and that was a big step towards becoming a better swimmer.

“The Olympic trials were the most stressful competition I have ever participated in,” he admitted. “The 100 backstroke is my best long course event, and we had to do it right away. I was in the last round of the circle. It was something that came out that I will never forget. I hadn’t even eaten before, and didn’t even realize it until later. It gave me so much more confidence after swimming at this meet. It was one of my first experiences swimming against the pros and the top guys in college.

“But it made me feel like I was meant to be there. It gives me a good breather.”

That should make everything different at the 2024 trials.

“It definitely gives me great focus for 2024. I knew I was going to testing, I was quite young, and unless I dropped something huge, I was just using testing as an experience. learning. I knew I would still have a chance,” he said.


Modglin has one more year at Zionsville High School, but he’s already committed to the University of Texas.

“Texas is just something special. It didn’t even cross my mind at the start of recruiting because I didn’t think I was good enough. I had schools in mind, but the environment of people in Texas was really great. I knew that once on campus, I could see myself here for the next four years. He just ticked all the boxes. It is something special to have the chance to join this program. It’s hard to put into words,” he said.

His performances during the high school and club seasons, as well as the fact that he is going to Texas, allow Modglin to focus on his short and long term goals.

“Short term goals: Junior Nationals at the end of the summer…and I’m going to snatch new long course bests. I haven’t had the best two long-course seasons. I want to go out there and have a good competition and then short course winter junior nats,” he said.

“Long term: Obviously I want to do well at the tryouts and do everything I can over the next two years to try to get up there on that Texas roster when I get there and keep improving.”

One thing’s for sure: he won’t sneak up on anyone, especially since we now know that the best competition brings out the best in this high school male swimmer of the year.