Bezuidenhout lends experience

Megan Wimmer, Staff Reporter

Gideon Bezuidenhout can add conference champion to his extensive resume. He won the breast stroke at the NAC-VI conference meet Jan. 26.

Swim coach Justin Richards believes that Bezuidenhout exerts a strong and positive influence on his fellow swimmers.

“I recall one time earlier in the year. We had some freshmen swimmers who were coming in and were very talented, but he wanted to make sure to let them know that he was the leader of the team,” Richards said. “And that on this team we will always improve to get better, and we don’t settle for the current state of where we are.”
In addition to his individual events, Bezuidenhout leads several relay teams, including the 200m freestyle that was also a conference champ. Joining him on the relay are freshman Tate Bacon, sophomore Ben Walton and junior Melvin McLawhorn.

At the regional meet Feb. 2, Bezuidenhout and crew finished eighth in the region in the 200 free (1:32.39) to qualify for states.

Swimming for him offers more than a chance to mentor and compete.

“It’s fun and it gets you in shape,” Bezuidenhout said.

For Richards, its his mind set that sets Bezuidenhout apart from other swimmers.

“Losing for Gideon is not an option. He approaches every race as ‘I’m going to win and I’m going to dominate, losing is not an option.’ Even when he wins, he’s always looking for ways to kind of tweak it and to even become better.”

Although Bezuidenhout did not get to advance to states as an individual, his leadership this season helped to propel Bacon who will compete at states in the 100 butterfly Feb. 7.

Bacon finished eighth in the region.