Shelton High senior Harrison MacAlevy stands out among prep swimmers because, well, he doesn’t stand out.
His mother, Jacquie, said her oldest of six children stood just 5 feet tall until two years ago when a growth spurt resulted in him shooting up 8 inches in 18 months.
“He’s been the smallest in his class since kindergarten,” Jacquie MacAlvey said.
A lot of sports weren’t a natural fit for MacAlevy as he was growing up, but swimming was.
His current height of 5-8 is still considered on the smaller side for male swimmers, although MacAlevy, who is seeded third in the 50-yard freestyle (21.76 seconds) and 100 butterfly (52.55) for Friday and Saturday’s Class 3A swimming and diving state championships at King County Aquatic Center, doesn’t see his lack of height (or length, in the case of swimmers) as a disadvantage in the pool.
He controls what he can control: his speed and tempo.
“It makes you work and pay more attention to your body position,” he said.
MacAlevy set two school records at the state meet last year — the 50 free (21.58, when he placed fourth) and the 100 backstroke (55.98, when he placed ninth).
Feeling a loss of passion for the 100 backstroke, he shifted his focus to the 100 butterfly this season, but it wasn’t until two weeks ago at the Narrows League championships when he got a performance he was happy with. He set a personal-best fly time by two seconds (52.55), which set a then-3A state-best time.
But choosing to swim the 50 free and 100 butterfly also means swimming in events that are raced back-to-back at state, but MacAlevy said he’s OK with it.
MacAlevy dealt with the same issue at last year’s state meet as a member of the Highclimbers’ 200 freestyle relay, then swimming in the 100 backstroke.
MacAlevy will also swim this weekend in the team’s 200 free relay.
“In the 50, you expend a lot of energy, but you don’t get winded from it,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to it and seeing what I can do.”