By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, December 4, 2022—Michael Barber is looking forward to the Dec. 8-11 Speedo Winter Championships in Plantation.
The 10-year-old fifth grader at Gator Run Elementary School in Weston is qualified in six events: 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 50 and 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke.
After some great training with his Asteroids teammates and Coach Luis Soler, he’s looking to improve and drop time. It also helps that he loves swimming fast.
“When I move through the water I feel really fast,” Barber said. “I’m not the best runner, not the best thrower, but I’m pretty good at swimming. I’m happy I started swimming, it calls to me.”
Barber has been swimming for five years. His dad Dave, a former swimmer, first signed him up for summer and winter league teams in South Carolina, where the family was living at the time. He also competed in football and soccer leagues but found his niche in swimming. He loves scuba diving and snorkeling. At age 9, he got certified for scuba diving in three days.
“It helps getting a workout in five or six days a week,” Barber said. “I like that, it gives me something to do on the weekends and week days when I don’t have anything to do. You have to come to practice every day and put the work in to do good. When I’m in the pool I’m thinking about my technique and going fast. I really like swimming fast.”
Barber loves working with Coach Luis. “He’s a good coach,” Barber said. “He helps your development and knows exactly what’s going on. He’s working with me the most on my backstroke. My teammates have been really supportive, too.
“SOFLO is a hard-working team that has good coaches, good swimmers and good community,” Barber said. “I do like SOFLO a lot.”
Barber said his best meet so far has been this past summer’s BB Championships where he earned JO cuts for his first JO meet. “I went really, really fast…faster than I’ve ever gone before.”
Soler enjoys working with Barber and watching his progress.
“He is a great kid,” Soler said. “He works hard and is a rule follower. I have been coaching him for a few seasons now and he has consistently gotten better every season. I’m looking forward to seeing how well he is going to do at Winter Champs.”
Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. Barber joins SOFLO teammates Lincoln Callaway Coy (September), Jacob Jones (August), Ethan Hall (July), Adrian Rendon (June), Niccolo Miccolis (May), Alex Golding (April), Guillermo Mantilla (March), Tristan Dons (February) and Hashan Ekanayake (January) as 2022 TYR Swimmers of the Month.
SOFLO sponsor TYR is an American designer, developer and manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies. TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology.
The company’s mission statement is starting from, powered by and made for athletes, we strive to create and re-imagine technologies that enhance experience and performance at every level.
Among its male-sponsored athletes are 2020 Olympians Michael Andrew, Tom Shields, Nic Fink, Townley Haas, Bobby Finke, Patrick Callan, Hunter Armstrong, Brooks Curry, Zack Harting and Jordan Wilimovsky and other elite swimmers Matt Grevers, Maxime Rooney, Nick Albiero, Jacob Pebley, Coleman Stewart, Justin Ress, David Curtiss, Charlie Clark and Ryan Lochte.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org