By Sheri Duff
David Keyes is a leader. “David is integral to the success of the swim team,” explained Burlington Tennis Club (BTC) assistant swim coach Tom Buzzell “not only competitively but in all areas. He takes his leadership role seriously and will always take the time to teach something new to a younger swimmer. Not only is David kind and inclusive he’s an accomplished athlete. I couldn’t ask for a better role model. It’s as simple as that.”
Keyes was born in Amherst, N.H. on Jan. 22, 1995, where he lived for a few years before his family relocated to Charlotte. His family includes parents, Kim and Jim, younger (by 30 minutes) twin brother Jared, and a cat named Stormy.
“I took swim lessons when we lived in New Hampshire,” Keyes recalled of his first aquatic experience. “And I did swim team for a year then too. But it wasn’t until I started swimming in Vermont for Green Mountain Aquatics that I sort of found my calling.”
And what a calling it is. “I swim every event but I prefer the breast stroke,” said the athletically inclined swimmer, and that is where he obviously excels. In fact BTC head swim team coach Cora Cummings Gauvin commented, “David placed second in the 50m and 100m breast stroke at the state swim meet last year.”
When asked about his crowning achievement Keyes’ answer is at the ready. “During the last race of last year’s state competition in the men’s 19U 200-yard freestyle relay we not only won the race, we set a new Vermont state record, and won the state championship title for BTC,” he said enthusiastically.
“To put his accomplishments into perspective, David competes for only six or seven weeks each year,” said coach Buzzell. “He has to hit the ground running, so to speak, and get ready to swim competitively in a very short amount of time. So what David has achieved is amazing, especially for a summer-only swimmer.”
A four-year varsity cross country runner and three-year varsity tennis player at Champlain Valley Union, Keyes chose to finish his senior year on the track & field team. “My brother always did track and it seemed like fun. It was great to finish our senior year on the same team.”
Once the summer swim season is over, Keyes will attend Middlebury College. “I chose Middlebury because it is an excellent school, it’s close by, and I really liked the small class sizes.” Currently undecided about his course of study or whether he will continue to swim, Keyes will consider all his options. From what he’s demonstrated thus far, there’s not much doubt Keyes will get along swimmingly.