By Mike Richard firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Dec 25, 2019 at 8:47 AM
During the summer of 2008, while Michael Phelps made his assault on the record book at the Beijing Olympics, he had a fan watching him from Cape Cod: 10-year old Tyler Caron.
Phelps captured an amazing eight gold medals, five individual medals and three with relay teams, breaking Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals won in a single Olympic Games
“The 2008 Olympics at Beijing was the first time I really watched swimming. I was pretty much in awe and have followed (Phelps) since then,” Tyler noted. “In terms of working hard, he’s a real inspiration.”
It was around this time that Tyler was attending a summer camp, and the counselors took the campers to a pool for the day.
“I remember I just had a blast that day,” he recalled. “The next day, I went to my parents and said, ‘I want to swim.’”
He joined up with the Sandwich Wahoos, where he first began swimming competitively.
“I really wasn’t a fast swimmer,” he remembered of his humble beginnings. “I think I started slow and was more of a longer distance swimmer.”
At the time, he also played soccer and basketball, but by his freshman year at St. John Paul II he made the decision to pursue swimming in high school.
“I had to choose between swimming and basketball, and I was better at swimming,” he said, “so that’s how they played out.”
While Tyler also competes in the offseason with the Cape Cod Firefish swimming team out of Sandwich, his biggest contribution to the SJPII swim team didn’t even happen in the pool.
Going into the season, he realized that – with graduation last year causing several swimmers to move on – there were some empty places in the cupboard. So, Tyler went on a recruiting mission among his classmates.
“We did a lot of recruiting at school, asking people. It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a short season, but we make it count.”
And the senior captain makes his time in the water count, swimming in his estimation about 40,000 yards per week. He is hoping his efforts will pay off when it comes to tournament time.
“There are cut times for South sectionals and cut times for states,” he said. “Honestly, this year I’m just trying to have fun and go for some off events. I’m going to try to branch out and qualify for as many events as I can.”
Next year, he will be pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering and is looking at both Villanova University and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He also hasn’t ruled out more time in the water.
“I would love to swim in college,” he said, “But if I don’t make it onto a varsity team, maybe I could make it on to a club or water polo team.”
20 Questions with Tyler Caron
1. Favorite subject: Calculus
2. Favorite book: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
3. Favorite food: Truffle fries
4. Favorite movie: “Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back”
5. Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”
6. Favorite Cape restaurant: Anejo Mexican Bistro, Falmouth
7. Favorite Cape hangout: Dowses Beach, Osterville
8. Favorite sports team: Boston Celtics
9. Favorite athlete: Jason Tatum
10. Favorite ’pump-up” music: “Phenomenal” by Eminem
11. Best advice I’ve received: There is no substitute for working hard and showing up on time.
12. Person I’d most like to meet: Pope Francis
13. Hobbies and interests: reading, playing basketball and tennis, walking my dogs, watching horse racing
14. Own greatest sports moment: qualifying for states
15. Most inspirational person: Michael Phelps
16. Pregame rituals / superstitions: In the days leading up to a meet, I think it’s bad luck to mention goal times.
17. Bucket list place to visit: Switzerland
18. Biggest sports setback or obstacle: Two years ago, I partially tore my rotator cuff, costing me most of a season.
19. College plans / major: I hope to major in biomedical engineering
20. Advice to young athletes: Learn how to work hard.