February 10, 2017
There is no 'I' in Gourley
Toughness and resilience are traits synonymous with Linfield College swimmer Trevor Gourley (So., Philomath, Ore.). His background in distance racing, together with continuous improvements on his sprints, have turned the sophomore into a Northwest Conference championship contender.
Gourley grew up swimming for the Corvallis Aquatic Team and was groomed to compete in distance events. Though he participates in sprints at Linfield such as the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freesteyle and butterfly events, he attributes his club background to much of his success today.
“The coach I grew up with back home was more of a middle-distance coach. The program I was with gave me the good recovery background,” says Gourley.
This season, Gourley holds Linfield's fastest time in the 50 freestyle (21.66) and the 200 freestyle events (1:44.42). Since arriving at Linfield, he has a new-found love for the 200 frestyle and believes his distance background plays an integral part to his continued success.
“It's easy for me swimming back-to-back races. My club coach (Greg Bostrom) taught me how to be tough with all the distance training that we did,” the sophomore adds.
Gourley notes the substantial progress he's made as a sprinter since entering Linfield and training under Wildcats coach Kyle Kimball.
The past two seasons, Kimball has sharpened Gourley's technical ability, turning him into the dependable swimmer the ‘Cats can rely on to produce big-meet points.
“Coming here, I get the technical and speed work that we do with Kyle. Having that solid distance background, I have a good recovery time and can finish my races strong,” says the finance and economics double major.
He adds: “I came in pretty sloppy with some bad techniques because I was never very technical during high school. Coming here, I've worked on my speed and technical parts of the game; it's definitely where I've grown.”
Teammate Matt Hanson leans on Gourley's skills to anchor relay races. He cites Gourley's competitive attitude, saying “Trevor loves all the pressure he can get.”
Gourley, says Hanson, “always brings a positive mentality to meets and practices. He's willing to work hard, which pushes the team and I to work harder. He's also always trying to improve his swimming any way possible which is very important in this sport.”
Despite finishing consistently high in individual races, Gourley's true passion between the lanes lies in the sport's team events. The sophomore enjoys racing with his teammates in the medley and freestyle races week in and week out.
“Swimming individually is on yourself. You want to do well for the team so it's a lot of self-imposed pressure. When you're swimming a relay, it's with the brothers that you've spent all your time working with; and it's time to finally do something with it,” says Gourley.
Heading into this week's NWC Championships, Gourley looks back on the dual-meet season and notes the improvements he and his teammates have made throughout the year. Last season, the sophomore thrived in his inaugural championship event, placing third in the 50-meter freestyle event with a time of 21.09 seconds.
“It's humbling seeing all this hard work pay off and think that maybe we can achieve something. Taking a couple of losses at the beginning of the season makes us know that we're not the best team out there and makes us work harder to hopefully be the best team in the conference,” he says.
The soft-spoken Gourley is eager to make a big splash not only this week in Federal Way, but also during his next two years at Linfield. With Gourley in the lineup, the future looks bright for the Wildcats swim program.
– Rhys Lendio '17