Jeremy Collison goes against the clock

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Deep breath: Guilderland sophomore Jeremy Collison swims the 100-yard breaststroke last Thursday for Guilderville during a meet against Burnt Hills. Collison won the race, finishing with a personal best time of 1:05.22. He’s ranked 32nd or better in seven different events in Section 2.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Towel talk: Guilderville swimmer Jeremy Collison, left, converses with his coach, Vaclav Sotola, after swimming the 200-yard freestyle relay last Thursday in Voorheesville. Guilderville’s relay team won the race with a time of 1:39.06. Also, in the meet against Burnt Hills, Collison set personal records in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke. 

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Wave back: The Guilderville swim team lost to Burnt Hills, 100 to 74, last Thursday in Voorheesville. Here, junior Joshua Mattson swims the 100-yard backstroke; he finished with a time of 1:21.80. Guilderville is winless in all of its meets this season. 

VOORHEESVILLE — Jeremy Collison is always racing against the clock. He can’t see the timer when he’s swimming, but he can feel the seconds ticking away.

“You have to beat the clock,” said the Guilderville swimmer; he’s a sophomore at Guilderland High School. “You can see it when you beat it. There’s satisfaction with that.”

As Guilderville’s fastest swimmer, Collison is ranked 32nd or better in Section 2 in seven different events. His time of 2:04.09 in the 200-yard individual medley is ranked ninth in the region. Last Thursday, Collison set personal records in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.22) and 100-yard freestyle (51.38) during a meet against Burnt Hills.

Does Collison have an internal clock?

“Yes, I’m going at a certain speed,” he said. “I can feel how I’m swimming, how tired I am, how much effort I’m using, and how much resistance.”

Collison’s personal record in the 100-yard breaststroke last Thursday moved him up 10 spots in the Section 2 rankings; he’s now placed in seventh. Sectionals are in two weeks, and Collison hopes to swim well enough to qualify for the state competition, but his times need to improve by a few more seconds.

One second is valuable in the sport of swimming. Collison says it’ll be difficult for him to make the state competition, but at least he’ll have that as a goal.

Guilderville Head Coach Vaclav Sotola told The Enterprise that swimming is all about visualizing. Collison is very dedicated, Sotola says.

“If you set a goal, and you’re someone like him, who has a very strong mind, you’ll do it,” Sotola said of Collison. “He’s having a great time, which is awesome for him, and good for us.”

During a race, Collison imagines the event being over soon, and realizes that pain is part of the agreement. “If you back down, even a little, you’ve lost the race already,” he said. “You have to keep pushing yourself.”

Sometimes, Collison will get to the wall at the end of a race with his face all red, almost unable to breath. He says he wants to feel that every time.

Also, there are times when Collison has a little more left to give in the water, and he calls that “the tank.”

“You’re like a tank of energy, you can run it down to nothing,” said Collison, who values self-motivation. “You still have time on the clock, so you have to be self willed like that.”

Universally, Collison will keep swimming until the clock stops.