Senior Aurora Connor Zamary flies in the water
This is his best shot.
It wasn’t his favorite move.
No, Aurora’s Connor Zamary took his time getting used to the fly.
âIn my freshman year of high school I absolutely hated butterfly, but I got put on butterfly and worked on it all year and really fell in love with it,â Zamary said. “It’s like a love-hate relationship. It’s very difficult, but I couldn’t do without it either.”
The fly was an important part of the senior Aurora’s final trip to the state, as he finished 13th in the 100 butterfly (52.83) and 12th in the individual medley (2: 00.26), including the 10th fastest butterfly stage of the event (25.11). He also handled the end of the Greenmen’s 200 IM relay, which finished 21st with a time of 1: 41.57. (Additionally, Zamary was part of a 200m freestyle relay that took 12th place in 1: 30.63).
âOnce your body understands the momentum and flow of the swim, it’s like magic happens,â said Sarah Gellott, Aurora’s swim coach. “He’s just very sweet. He’s very determined. I mean his butterfly represents his personality. He’s very focused and determined and I don’t mean calculated, but he thinks of everything, and therefore his butterfly, every part. is thought, each part of the blow has some sort of thought or strategy. “
Just as Zamary didn’t like his high performance swimming at first, he was also unsure of his high performance sport when his mother signed him up for swimming lessons at the local YMCA.
âI actually hated it at first,â Zamary said. âI actually quit for a while but when I came back I really fell in love with the whole team’s mindset and working together and fell in love with the sport and since then , I haven’t looked back. “
Her family didn’t either, as her three younger siblings all swim, with Annabelle a rising junior on the high school team and Susan moving from middle school to high school this year. Susan is a versatile swimmer who excels in breaststroke, according to her older brother, while Annabelle is strong in freestyle and Robert, the youngest, is good in backstroke and breaststroke.
With four swimmers, it looks like the Zamary family are still at the pool with Connor and his parents constantly leading the younger ones to their workouts.
âThey are very talented and they have trained a lot,â Zamary said. “So I’m sure they’ll be a lot better than me. They’ll take all of my records.”
It might turn out to be true, but Zamary is also modest.
His records will not be so easily broken.
âHe’s a swimmer who thinks about the parts of his races and that’s a key part that I think a lot of intermediate swimmers don’t think about,â said Gellott. “They just prepare their bodies and they go. It has reduced mental capacity.”
This was fully on display at the State Reunion, where he participated in four different events and switched from one to the other with ease.
âWhen you’re at this meeting, you can’t focus on what just happened,â Zamary said. “You always have to look to the future. So I mean the second I step out of the water I’m already looking for my next race.”
Per Gellott, Zamary knows when to pick up the pace and stay fresh for future events.
He also knows when to go hard.
âIf his team needs him to get the first place, he will get the first place,â said Gellott. “It’s amazing. It’s just going to happen. He’ll sacrifice whatever he has to do to get to the top spot because that’s what the team needs.”
His determination was manifested during the COVID-19 pandemic, when team training was closed for a month. A teammate’s mother suggested swimming at the Aurora Inn, and soon after, Zamary wrote down her own workouts and helped her teammates at the pool. Obstacles aside, Zamary said he learned something from the experience.
âIt started out a little harder than most, but I think the start actually gave me a real perspective on how to see the season,â Zamary said. “I used to be very goal-oriented I would say, but with so many uncertainties about the end of the season as a team, we just started swimming like every competition was the last.”
As he enters his final high school swimming season, Zamary has choices to make. He can focus on his header, the volley, or he can devote more time to developing his other strokes, such as the breaststroke, which would especially help with his swim time.
“Is it more important for him to focus on the falling milliseconds in the butterfly?” Gellott said. “Or is it more important for him to break the record again and be sure to assert in the 200 IM?”
Zamary also has another decision to make, whether to go swimming to college, with Gellott hoping he will stay in the pool a little longer.
âHe’s very realistic,â Gellott said. “He tells me, ‘I can’t swim forever, I’m not the best of the best, I won’t be Michael Phelps,’ but I want him to feel able to take all of his hard work and see it continue. Like it doesn’t end after high school. “