The Goofball

Sam Porell, Reporter

Colby Raffel and Tate Bahti. Two names that you probably don’t recognize, but these two names now reside, and take up a majority of space, in the Sunnyslope record books. 7 out the 11 swim records in Sunnyslope history have either the name Bahti or Raffel listed beside it. 

Now, one may think that the shadow cast by these two swimmers’ legacy would be difficult to overcome and pave a path for themselves, but a new name has forced itself into the conversation. And don’t believe for a second that he is done.

Kyle Hazelton was the top swimmer at Sunnyslope this year and he was able to forge his own legacy.

“He was always on the faster side for whatever age group he was in,” Said Swim Coach Michael Brauer, “He just stood out right away with just natural talent.”

Hazelton’s natural talent and hard work has turned him into an elite swimmer and allowed him to continue his career; at Whitworth University in Washington.

“Hazelton said, “Having the opportunity to swim for a college and at the next level shows that I’ve reached one of my many goals and have made new goals going forward and it shows that work and dedication to a sport has paid off.” 

Whitworth offers a new opportunity for Hazelton, and it’s an opportunity that he is certainly excited for. 

“They were very welcoming and kind,” said Hazelton, “Coach Schadt was a very friendly and helpful person who helped me with my decision to swim at Whitworth.”

While Hazelton will be leaving Sunnyslope after this year he has left behind some remarkable achievements. 

At Sunnyslope, Hazelton swam a 22.4 second 50 free and 58 second 100 fly, but he said he will miss his coaches and friends who have become like an extension to his family. 

Hazelton certainly made an impression on his coaches and teammates while he was here as he was always the resident goofball. 

“My favorite memory was seeing him swim a 50 butterfly in size with extra large gray sweatpants,” said Junior Claire Calkins, “it was really entertaining to watch and he did better than most anybody would swim a 50 fly.” 

There is a lot that Hazelton will be leaving behind here at Sunnyslope, but he will miss moments like swimming in pants quite a lot but most importantly all his classmates and swim buddies who were his number one fans as well as Coaches Licht, Brauer, and Renner