The Air Force Academy Picks Up Two Talents from the Southeastern LSC

Slater Whiston of City of Mobile Swim Association (CMSA) and Steffen Mount of Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club (GPAC) have both committed to swim for the United States Air Force Academy next year. The AFA does not participate in NLI, but Whiston received and accepted an official appointment from them, while Mount has received a Letter of Assurance which guarantees him an appointment when he gets a nomination. They both swim under the Southeastern Swimming LSC.

These two talented swimmers certainly understand the meaning of the word “dedication.” Brianna Mount,  sister of Steffen, already swims for the AFA, and his father is in the Army, while Whiston’s father is in the Navy. “The military life has played a significant role in our lives,” says Whiston.  “I know my interest in the military academies was sparked as early as 5th or 6th grade, so this is definitely a dream come true. Steffen says that once he learned about the academy, the experiences people had, and what great opportunities stemmed from it, he knew it was the place for him. We both agree that we chose this path to serve our country.”

Being the next generation after our parents, we believe it is our duty to carry this tradition of service on. Although our college experience will be nowhere near the experience of a civilian school, we are both extremely excited. –Slater Whiston

Whiston is primarily a backstroker, but has solid freestyle times to go along with his backstroke prowess. His best times:

100y back – 49.78

200y back – 1:48.37

100m back – 58.51

200m back – 2:06.25

200y free – 1:40.23

500y free – 4:36.27

Whiston’s best times in the 200 and 500 free would have put him into the C final for each event at last year’s WAC championships, while his backstroke times would have put him into B finals. He has Summer Junior National cuts in the 100 and 200 back from both his yards and meters bests. Whiston will be a great addition for the Falcons, whose best 100 backstroker, Angus MacDonald, just finished his fourth year of eligibility last year.

Mount is a sprint freestyler who has an impressive 100 butterfly to complement. He won the 100 fly at the Florida 2A Championships, and anchored Washington HS to top-8 finishes in the 200 and 400 free relays. His best times (all of which are Summer Junior National cuts):

50y free – 20.40

100y free – 44.42

200y free – 1:37.65

100y fly – 48.61

While his long course times aren’t nearly as impressive as what he can do in yards, Mount’s sprinting capabilities will be huge for the AFA, which will definitely be excited to have Mount around. His times in the 200 free and 100 fly would have put him into the A final at last year’s WAC championships, while his 50 and 100 free times would have put him just outsides the A final in both events. However, he is improving at a rapid rate. Last year, he was just 21.19 in the 50 free, 45.85 in the 100 free, 1:40.27 in the 200 free, and 49.98 in the 100 fly. If he improves only a small amount, he will be an A final conference contender in his four events. With his times now, however, he can contribute to any of the Falcon relays. His 200 free time, flat start, is faster than any of the 800 free relay legs at last year’s WAC championships.

Although the two boys just recently met, despite living a mere hour’s drive away from one another, it looks like this is the start of a lasting friendship.

I knew that this guy was someone who would make a great teammate and a life long friend. I am excited for the chance to be his teammate and eventually his fellow officer in the United States Air Force. –Whiston


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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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