By Zachary Fletcher
It was that same year that coach Myhre took control of the Puget Sound swim team, and 26 seasons later Myhre and the Loggers are continuing the swim program at a high level of success that has led Myhre throughout his lifetime in the water.
“I grew up in Tacoma and one of the places I learned to swim was in the old Wallace Pool. Swimming always came relatively easy for me; I enjoyed the friendships, and quite possibly that is where my love for the sport began … the people!” Myhre said.
Myhre’s success as a swimmer began from an early age, and his drive for success started him on the path as an athlete, and now as a coach of the sport he grew to love.
“The pursuit of winning, and the process of that pursuit are two related parallels that have always been with me, both as swimmer and now as coach,” Myhre said. Myhre expresses an immense amount of gratitude for his swimmers, and encourages a high level of excellence among them.
“I have coached high school and private U.S.A. club teams previously, and while there are many similarities, I think the biggest difference are the student-athletes themselves,” Myhre said. “The daily interactive opportunities I have with the scores of swimmers over the years is perhaps my greatest joy, and is conducted at levels that just are not available with younger persons,” he added.
Not only does Myhre express appreciation for his swimmers, his swimmers express their appreciation for him.
“His sets have very clear goals to work towards and I can tell he tries to make them fun for the swimmers as well,” first-year student Kerry Miller (Portland, Oregon) said. Clarity and enjoyment are prized by Miller and executed by Myhre in practice.
“The atmosphere at practice under Chris is encouraging and fun! He let’s us joke around while on the wall at practice but holds us accountable to trying hard during main sets,” sophomore Dylan Reimers (Rocklin, California) said.
Reimers continues his praise of Coach Myhre with regards to specific actions in practice that push individual gains and improve the team as a whole. “Chris pushes all of us to our best ability with positive reinforcement. You will always hear him telling someone good job or something to work on for the five seconds we have before we push off the wall and start swimming again,” Reimers said.
Miller shares that sentiment, one of team greatness as a product of individual success. “He tries to work with every swimmer individually to improve our individual skills and therefore the skills of the whole team. But he makes it clear that no matter how good we can do individually, the team is the most important,” Miller added.
The swim team toppled Pacific 131-66 on the men’s side and 143-59 on the women’s side in their most recent meet on Nov. 4 in Oregon. On top of that, Reimers was named Northwest Conference (NWC) student-athlete of the week after winning four events and two relays in the weekend’s races. With regards to this current team, Myhre has no shortness of respect for a team that delivers time and time again with their high level of competitiveness and success.
“This team embodies and embraces the Greek word ‘arete.’ And while there are multiple directions one can go with the varied meanings of this word, our team chooses to seek ‘excellence’ in all things, in the water and out. It is a challenging quest, yet at the same time, it can be a fun and rewarding one as well!” Myhre said.
The future prospects are bright and look successful, as seen by both players and coaches alike.
“I see Puget Sound swimming only getting better from this year … Chris is working really hard to recruit seniors in high school and have them come visit the school to see what it’s like here and I see that paying off in a huge way!” Reimers said.
Myhre also sets high goals for himself and his team in the future in the NWC swim field. “I believe we are always seeking ways to be better, and ultimately we seek to be considered one of the best swim teams, best athletic departments and best schools in the country. And I am very excited to be a small part of the process,” Myhre said.
The NWC is in store for quite the swim season, and with Coach Myhre and his skilled team of individual athletes behind him, the strength of this team rivals none and is sure to compete at a high level for years to come.