Sophomore * Salesianum * swimming
THE WEEK: Dickson finished third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:45.85) and second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:36.76) at the DIAA Swimming and Diving Championships to help Salesianum win the boys team title. Both of his times were personal bests.
THE FEELING: Dickson, who began competitive swimming as a 4-year-old, placed ninth in the 200-yard and third in the 500-yard events last year. He was pleasantly shocked by his improvement. “I’m surprised I actually went that fast, since I wasn’t shaved or tapered for the races,” said Dickson. “I was stunned … 4:36, if someone would have told me that, I wouldn’t have believed them.”
THE PREPARATION: “I just tried to work on what my strengths are … I like to pluck people off in the end. That’s what I did. I closed pretty [well] in the end.” Dickson also cited swimming against Sallies teammate, Matt Stasiunas – who won four state titles this year – for Delaware Swim Team, which Dickson joined five weeks ago.
THE TEAM: “It’s all about the points,” he said. Sallies has won eight consecutive state titles, 14 of the last 15 and 30 overall since the state meet began in 1970. When asked what it’s like to be part of a dominating team, Dickson said, “It’s something to be proud of and just to contribute points for the team is always good.”
THE COACH SAYS: “Robbie had a good year for us. You can always count on him to come through in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. He works hard so any recognition he receives is well deserved. We talked after the state meet and he already has goals set as to what he wants to accomplish next year,” Salesianum coach Chip Hannig said.
THE GOAL: Dickson is already hoping to break records next season. “I want to try to get down to Matt’s [Stasiunas] record next year,” said Dickson. Stasiunas swam the 500-yard freestyle in 4:26.89.
THE VISION: “By the end of senior year, I want to make sure Delaware is recognized more for high school swimming,” Dickson, who wants to work on faster starts, stated. “People say, ‘Oh it’s just Delaware High School States’, but I want people to say, ‘Wow, that’s Delaware and they mean something.”
THE MODEL: Dickson looks up to Olympian Andrew Gimmell, who went to high school at Charter. “He’s such a great distance swimmer. He’s got it all in the open water. He does everything I want to accomplish,” he said.
THE CLASSROOM: History is the sophomore’s favorite subject. “It’s important to learn what happened, and people always say ‘history repeats itself’,” he said.
THE FUTURE: “Texas is my dream school for swimming,” he said. “Eddie Reese is a good coach, and I’ve been there for camp.” Dickson wants to study criminal justice. “I want to go into the Army or become a Navy SEAL after college.”
– Gianna Banner