Lee's Summit R-7 School District
Daniel Worth and his swimming coach show off his state title.

Lee’s Summit North Boys Swimming brings home six gold medals and two state records.

Plus a Q+A with Lee’s Summit North state swimming champion Daniel Worth

The Lee’s Summit North Boys Swim Team had an impressive weekend at the state swim meet this past weekend. 

Junior Daniel Worth became the Missouri State Champion in the 100 Breastroke, and broke a 28-year record with his time of 53.53. 

While Daniel’s record-breaking feat was featured in the Kansas City Star and Swimming World Magazine, his breaststroke event is far from the only gold the team came home with. 

Daniel also brought home gold in the 200 IM, while his teammates Andrew Bennett and Lance Godard took first place and second place in the 50 yard freestyle, respectively. 

Lance went on bring home gold in the 100 butterfly.

Daniel, Andrew and Lance, combined with Alder Harding to win gold in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. And Daniel, Andrew, Lance and teammate Clayton Adkins broke a state record when they took first in the 200 yard freestyle relay.

Their performances, along with many other fast swims by their teammates, earned them fourth overall in team points.

Here’s a Q+A with Daniel, a junior who also swims for the Empire Swim Club.

Name: Daniel Worth

Age: 17

Grade: 11

High School: Lee’s Summit North

Club Swimming Team: Empire Swim Club

How long have you been swimming, and what initially drew you to the sport?

I have been swimming competitively for about six years, and I swam rec league a couple years before that, too.  Both my siblings did the rec league in my neighborhood and I wanted to be like them so I joined the team.

You broke a nearly 30-year high school record in the 100 breaststroke this past weekend. Was breaking that time a goal of yours? How did you mentally and physically prepare for that race?

That time has been a motivator for me for the last two years. Last year I missed it by three-tenths of a second at state and that really pushed me to make it my goal to see how much I could beat it by. Mentally and physically, I did a lot to prepare for that over the course of the season. The training I put in this season was the best I have ever done and I knew what it was going to be like to execute a good race.

How did the race feel during the race? And how did you feel after you touched the wall and looked at your time?

The race felt great. I felt very strong throughout the entire race and all of my technique work I have put in these past couple months really came together during the race and I felt like I was going pretty fast. I knew I had broken the record because as soon as I touched the wall the whole aquatic center erupted and everyone started going crazy. I was pretty excited when I saw the time because I had finally got the record and it was a big time drop from my best.

We understand that Jeff Commings, who originally held the record, was in the audience. What was having him there and meeting him like?

Missing the record last year was a big motivator to make me push myself harder when I trained because I knew how much I wanted that record. Jeff being there was super cool. I finally got to meet him and it was cool he was supporting me on my swim. It’s really impressive how incredible that time was in 1991 and how long it took for someone to break it, but it was really cool for him to be there to congratulate me.

Tell us about your training. How often do you swim? Do you swim with a club, in addition to high school? I train with my club team nine months out of the year, and the three months of the high school season I train with the high school team. I train in the pool nine times a week and I lift in addition to that four times a week. It’s a lot of pure strength and power work along with high speed work to get us used to racing and strengthen our aerobic capacity.

Do you have any pre-race or training rituals that you want to share?

I blast music through my headphones and just think about my race strategy.

What’s on your pre-race playlist?

Lots of screamo and hype music that gets me going.

Other than the 100 breaststroke, what was your favorite race of the weekend?

Other than my 100 breaststroke my favorite race of the weekend was definitely the 200 free relay. The boys really came together and although we were not the favorites to win we ended up winning and shattering the overall state record.

What’s next? What is the next swimming goal you want to tackle?

I have Junior Nationals next month and I’m going to try to drop some more time and see if I can become a Junior National champion. As for next high school season, I’m gonna set my goal to get the national high school record.

Other than swimming, what are you most excited for this year?

I would say I’m most excited for committing to a college and knowing where I am going to school.

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