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Chancellor's Peck is on the hook to swim for 'Horns at Texas

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AA Kyle Peck

{p}Kyle Peck stands in front of his team’s banner at the Rouse Center in Stafford on Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2022.{/p}

Kyle Peck took his decision on where to swim in college very seriously. But one of the decisive factors in choosing the University of Texas was a light-hearted conversation with a current Longhorn on a recent visit to Austin.

“It was a surreal experience, for sure,” Peck said. “You see all these people swim on TV, and you think they’re superhuman fast.

“But I’ll take Carson Foster for an example,” Peck said, referencing Texas’ junior All-America backstroker. “He’s a super down-to-earth, chill dude. He’ll talk to anybody about anything. He’s a regular dude who’s ridiculously fast in the pool. But we didn’t talk swimming outside the pool, because it gets kind of boring.”

Foster likely will exhaust his eligibility before Peck matriculates in Austin in the fall of 2024, but the current Chancellor High School junior hopes to follow in his wake. He announced late last week his intention to swim for the Longhorns, who currently have the No. 1-ranked men’s and women’s programs in the country.

“I’ve always dreamed of having an opportunity to win an NCAA team title, and they have a historically great team,” Peck said.

That’s an understatement. Under legendary 45th-year coach Eddie Reese, the Longhorns have won 15 men’s NCAA titles and finished no worse than second in any of the past eight years.

And if he maintains his trajectory, Peck stands to contribute to Texas’ future success.

He was named The Free Lance-Star’s All-Area male swimmer of the year as a sophomore at Chancellor after winning a Class 4 state title in the 50-yard backstroke. He’s currently ranked the No. 9 overall national men’s recruit in the Class of 2024 and the No. 2 backstroker behind Daniel Diehl of Cumberland, Md.

Peck won the age 15-16 division 100 back (47.24) at March’s VSI Short Course Senior Championships in Richmond, and he has his sights set on breaking Anthony Grimm’s 2019 national age-group record—which he can cite off the top of his head (45.60).

“Honestly, the biggest thing is his work ethic and desire,” said Anthony Pederson, Peck’s club coach with the Rappahannock Area Stingrays for the past six years. “I call him a swimmer who swims with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to prove people wrong. He’s extremely goal-oriented.”

Peck begins his high school season on Dec. 3 with a dual meet against Eastern View at Saint Michael’s pool. The following week, he’s scheduled to compete in the Speedo Junior Nationals East in Greensboro, N.C., where he’ll compete against Diehl for the first time. Next June, he’ll visit Indianapolis for the World Team Trials, hoping to make the U.S. Junior National Team.

Peck’s oldest brother, Dylan, swam at George Mason University, and Garrett is a freshman swimmer at Marymount University in Arlington. Before choosing Texas, Peck also visited his other four finalists (Florida, California, Notre Dame and Alabama), all of which are currently ranked in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s top 25.

“There were no bad decisions on the table,” Peck said. “It would have worked out at any one of those schools. It came down to where I would have the best shot at achieving my dream.”

Steve DeShazo: 540.374.5443

sdeshazo@freelancestar.com

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