PRC swimming makes its way to the top

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 26, 2019

Luke Jarvis and Amber Bounds are two completely different swimmers who had the same goal, bring a medal home from the state meet.

Both athletes accomplished what they set out to do.

Bounds won both of her events, the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, while Jarvis won the 50-yard freestyle.

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Senior Anthony Werner also earned a gold medal by winning the 500-yard freestyle event.

Bounds is a year-round swimmer who’s been involved in the sport from a very young age, where as Jarvis only started swimming with the varsity team in 7th grade.

It’s the dichotomy between the two athletes that Head Coach Blake Rutherford said makes both swimmers being named to the All-State swim team by the Clarion Ledger so special.

Each athlete brings something unique to the table.

Bounds is a distance swimmer as evidenced by her placement in the 500-yard freestyle, the longest event at the state meet.

Jarvis on the other hand is a sprinter, and a fast one at that.

His 50-yard freestyle time was still the fourth fastest in the state even when compared to athletes from larger programs across Mississippi.

Rutherford said he knew Bounds was going to be in the running to win medals whether PRC was put in the Class 1 or Class 2 division, so seeing her go two for two in her events wasn’t a surprise.

“Amber is so dedicated and is always in the mix no matter the competition. No matter the competition or event I chose, I knew for sure she would get first in both of them,” Rutherford said.

Jarvis has been putting in the work to get a chance to stand on the podium for the past six years.

All season he was cutting time and the improvement is what allowed him to rise above the rest of the competition at the state meet.

“Luke is just a happy go lucky guy who has the body of a swimmer. He’s a typical sprinter and works hard when he has to during the meet,” Rutherford said.

Jarvis will be graduating as a senior at the end of the year.

But since Bounds is a sophomore, she has another two years to earn more medals in varsity swimming.

Rutherford said he knows the high expectations Bounds has for herself, so his job is making sure the experience is enjoyable.“I just really want to make it fun for her. (She has) the expectations of winning out, but I’m trying to get her to realize that’s not everything,” Rutherford said.

Now that Bounds and Jarvis have gold medals to their names Rutherford said he can take their accomplishments back to other members of his swim team and show them that if they work hard enough they can earn a spot on the podium. “Everybody around here knows Amber’s dedication it’s not a surprise and Luke is just jack of all trades. (They’re) two different swimmers with two different backgrounds,” Rutherford said.