CLAYTON — At the end of the 2017-2018 high school swimming season Justin Parrett and Justin DeLano succeeded in what they set out for, their unspoken mission: to dominate the Northmont Swimming record board.
At the end of the District meet held at Miami University, the season came to an end with all Northmont swimming records containing the name Justin DeLano or Justin Parrett. The pair did succeed in etching their names on all seventeen high school records over their four year high school careers.
Justin Parrett ended the season with seven individual records while Justin DeLano holds six individuals. The pair is also part of all four relay records bringing their totals to 11 and 10 respectively.
Combined, the two swimmers have set and re-set records 61 times in the past four seasons from December of 2014 through to February of 2018.
DeLano has focused on the backstroke and butterfly while the Parrett’s specialty is in the breast stroke and freestyle. Their record grabbing paths have crossed on several occasions. One notable time was during their sophomore year. Both swimmers were competing in the 200 backstroke during the 2016 Southwest Ohio Classic and both chasing a 2010 team record held by Sam Sussman with a time 2:21.20. At the completion of his heat, DeLano had achieved the record, besting the mark by almost 10 seconds with a 2:11.74. One heat later Parrett officially grabbed the record with 2:08.89. DeLano is jokingly credited with the shortest held record by a Northmont swimmer holding it for less than 3 minutes!
Fast forward to his senior year and DeLano reclaimed the record during the 2018 Classic with a time of 2:06.03.
The two Justin’s are familiar with each other’s swimming ability. Justin Parrett began swimming competitively at the age of 7 as a member of the Kleptz YMCA Swim team. A year later Justin DeLano began his swimming career, also with the Kleptz team. Since then, the two have been teammates and competitors pushing each other to be better than the other.
Traditionally, Parrett’s best stroke has been the breast stroke. This specialty also allows him to excel in the Individual Medley in which all four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle) are swum. The breast stroke is particularly difficult technique in which swimmers usually master it or not, and where the difference is significant. Parrett’s strength in this stroke was also significant for the 200 and 400 Medley Relays.
DeLano has embraced the butterfly and enjoys the 1650 yard freestyle and although not his favorite, he has become a solid backstroke swimmer. The 1650 is also referred to ‘the mile’ in swimming and although technically it is a few yards short (330), it is a difficult event in which a swimmer must maintain pace for 66 lengths of the pool. This is a far contrast from the all-out sprint paces of the 50 and 100 yard events.
During their freshman season, both swimmers ended up with their names on two individual records each. Parrett had the 200 and 500 yard freestyle, while Justin DeLano had the 1650 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke. As freshmen, they were part of the ‘A’ relay team and were both on three of four relay records with only the 400 Medley Relay eluding them.
Senior Captain, Zach Kirby put the team first and gave up his relay spots to the quicker freshmen. The other seniors and upperclassmen also welcomed and supported the young swimmers showing great class and sportsmanship. During the season, the relays had improved the records seven times.
By their sophomore year, the pair had cemented themselves as permanent fixtures to the relays and were members of all four record setting relay teams (200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR and 400 MR). In addition to capturing the 400 Medley Relay, the team improved relay records 8 times during the 2015-2016 season.
As an individual, Parrett surged during his sophomore year and had finished the season with six individual records (200 and 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, 100 and 200 breast stroke and the 200 backstroke.)
Although he did not obtain any new individual records, DeLano improved his record time in the 1650 freestyle and improved his 100 backstroke record three times. 2014 grad David Bellus, still maintained three records and Senior Austin Pearce held the 50 and 100 yard freestyle records.
Junior year proved more of the same with the two setting or improving individual records 12 times between the two. Parrett improved four of his six individual records while DeLano improved both of his previous records. DeLano was also able to better 2014 graduate David Bellus’s 100 butterfly record by just over a second. He was able to improve that time to a 53.97 and end the season with three individual records. During their junior year, relay records were elusive as the team was unable to make up for the loss of 2016 graduating seniors Austin Pearce and Tyler Ohlemacher who were part of the previous year’s records, but underclassmen were improving and there was excitement for the following season.
Heading into their senior year, Parrett and DeLano combined to hold nine of the 13 individual team records. Although not broadcasted or coordinated, individually both had set their sights on dominating the records board and leaving a significant mark in Northmont swimming.
Parrett started the season by improving on his 500 freestyle record leaving a future mark to beat of 5:05.23. The 2018 Classic held in January, added four more records to the ‘Justin’ total. With the help of Junior Josiah English and Senior Bobby Gaylor, the relay drought of the previous year was broken with a 3:54.37 in the 400 Medley Relay. DeLano also added three individual records to his column.
DeLano removed David Bellus’s name from the 400 IM with time of 4:41.36, and the 200 Butterfly with a time of 2:08.65. This brought DeLano’s individual record total to five. In one of the last events of the meet, DeLano was able to take back the 200 backstroke record from Justin Parrett raising his total to six and lower Parrett’s to five.
Between them they were sitting at 11 of 13 individual records and the season was still not over. During Northmont’s home meet, the 200 Freestyle Relay record was broken. This time replacing Matt Pfeffer and Austin Pearce with Josiah English and Bobby Gaylor, DeLano and Parrett remained the same.
Conference championships saw an improvement in the 200 Freestyle Relay record and DeLano improved his 100 backstroke record in both prelims and finals. At sectional, Parrett was able to better 2016 graduate Austin Pearce’s 100 Freestyle record with a time of 49.45 adding one to his individual record count back up to six. DeLano finished GWOC with two 2nd All League and two Special Mention (3rd) finishes. At sectional, DeLano obtained automatic district qualifying with two second place finishes in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke.
Parrett automatically qualified for the 100 Freestyle by placing 2nd and qualified on time in the 200 Freestyle. Both the 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle Relays also qualified on time. Going into the Southwest District Championships, both Parrett and DeLano had obtained 12 (six each) out of 13 individual records with only the 50 freestyle remaining held by Austin Pearce with a time of 22.60.
Although Parrett had not qualified for the 50 Freestyle, he had three attempts to set the school record in the 50 Free at the District meet in the 100 Free, 200 Free and the 200 Free Relay, being that he was lead off swimmer. In this last event of Parrett’s high school career he swam a 22.33 setting a new Northmont record by 0.27 seconds and achieving the overall goal.
One event later, DeLano ended his high school swim by beating his 100 backstroke record with a 54.32.
Neither swimmer will be in the Olympics or World championships, nor have a professional career in swimming. They are not the fastest in the state, or for that matter in the conference, albeit competitive.
Northmont will have better and faster swimmers to be sure, but for the four years from 2014 to 2018, “The Justin’s” have left their mark in the pool and on the record board. They have pushed each other and their teammates to be better. Parrett has not decided on a college but plans on pursing a business degree. He does not plan on continuing his competitive swimming career and after more than 11 years will retire his goggles and swim cap.
DeLano is planning to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree and swim collegiately. He is currently looking at several university swim programs and is expected to make a final decision in the coming weeks.