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Published: January 10, 2007 10:59 pm    print this story   email this story   comment on this story  

HS SWIMMING: GI's Bakula learned to go with the flow

By Nate Beutel
Greater Niagara Newspapers

GRAND ISLAND Growing up around water isn’t too difficult for Grand Islanders.

But having a passion for the water is another thing.

Grand Island senior swimmer Adam Bakula has just that.

“I was always in the (Niagara) river as a kid,” he said. “I just like being around the water.”

That passion has led to a successful swimming career for the Grand Island Vikings.

Bakula, a team captain, has qualified for sectionals the past two seasons in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.

This year he’s been mainly a freestyle swimmer, which has helped in team scoring during the dual league meets.

His ability to swim a number of events, though, is what makes him so special, according to Grand Island coach Rob Collard.

“His strength is his versatility,” Collard said. “He has four-stroke ability. Any time you have a swimmer like that, it gives your team a lot more flexibility.”

Bakula’s flexibility extends beyond the pool as well.

Throughout his time around the river waters, he’s also had time to explore the many trails and canals in the area.

“I do a lot of canoeing, kayaking and biking in the summer, which really helps build up my strength in my arms and legs,” Bakula said.

Add to that the fact that he used to be a cross-country runner in middle school and you have a beginnings of a recipe for a possible triathlete.

When posed the question if that’d be in the future for him, Bakula noted that he’d had previous experience in mini-triathlon events and that it could very well be a possibility.

“I pretty much do all three of the events in some capacity, so it’s something I’d definitely be interested in,” he said.

Collard added that Bakula’s slender, yet strong build is also conducive to the grueling endurance event.

While that goal may be down the road, for now Bakula is focused on fulfilling one of his present goals — making states.

He believes he’s good enough to reach the threshold in the 100 backstroke, while Collard thinks it may be the 500 freestyle that presents Bakula’s best chances of reaching the finals at the Flickinger Center in March.

Qualify or not, Collard surely knows what kind of effort he’ll get from Bakula.

“He has it in him and he’s worked real hard for a couple of years now,” the coach said.

Bakula is considering swimming at the collegiate level at either the University at Buffalo, Niagara University, or the University of Rochester. He plans on studying business.

Contact Nate Beutel at 282-2311, Ext. 2262.



SCHOOL: Grand Island

SPORT: Boys Swimming

YEAR: Senior

EVENTS: 200 free, 500 free, 200 IM, 100 back, 200 free relay, 400 free relay

NOTABLE: Bakula is considering becoming a triathlete in the future

QUOTE: “I pretty much do all three of the (triathlon) events, so it’s something I’d definitely be interested in.”

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Photos


070110 Adam Bakula/sports DAN CAPPELLAZZO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Grand Island - Grand Island senior Adam Bakula swims the freestyle during practice at Grand Island High. None/ (Click for larger image)


070110 Adam Bakula2/sports DAN CAPPELLAZZO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Grand Island - Grand Island senior swimmer Adam Bakula. None/ (Click for larger image)

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