WESTFIELD, NJ — On March 5, Westfield High School swim team members set school records at the NJ Meet of Champions with a 1:34.50 in the 200 medley relay and a 1:25.90 in the 200 freestyle relay. Both teams were anchored by senior captain Aedan Collins, this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.

“Aedan was an anchor for not only the relays but for the entire team this season,” head coach Jeffrey Knight said.  “His talent and versatility made him irreplaceable.  He certainly will go down as one of the best swimmers in Westfield High School history.”

Collins was introduced to swimming at a young age when his parents took him to Nomahegan Swim Club and has loved the sport since.

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“I continue to swim because it's pretty satisfying when your hard work pays off and you achieve a best time,” Collins said.

As a captain, Knight said, Collins worked hard and put the team first this season.

“Aedan's desire to succeed is second to none,” Knight said. “He put in a lot of time preparing for the season and it paid off.  He also will do whatever it takes for the team to be successful.”

As such, Collins swam in whichever event the team needed him to compete.

“I swam the 50 freestyle several times this year,” Collins said. “I like it because it's really short and usually doesn't hurt too bad. I also did the 100 backstroke mainly out of necessity for the team. Backstroke is a fun race for me because I can kick pretty fast underwater, which works to my benefit.”

Collins improved his mechanics and felt more comfortable throughout his high school swimming career. He said he enjoyed his time as captain.

“I've gotten a lot stronger since my freshman year outside of the pool, and I've worked a lot on the technical side of my swimming, which has given me more confidence that I didn't have my freshman year,” he said. “What I liked about being captain was probably just being a leader on the team and being able to represent my teammates, who are some of my best friends.”

Knight also saw a lot of improvement and gives credit to Collins’ leadership for the team’s success.

“By the time he finished freshman year, he had asserted himself into the lineup in key roles, which was a major factor in the team winning the state title that year,” Knight said. “Over the course of the last three years he has continually built upon that and has made himself into one of the best swimmers in the state and one of the best in school history.  In the same vein, his leadership skills have grown and he has been a major force in the development of one of the best teams in school history.”

Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Now located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com