Team is very important to Robert Finke.
So is swimming. The pool is home to the Countryside senior. Why is it home?
“I guess because I found out I was pretty good at it,” Finke said.
Pretty good? How about very good. How about the No. 1 ranked senior in the state of Florida. A distance specialist who spent his summer with the U.S. National team.
“It was great," he said. "It motivated me to do my best because I didn’t have the best meet, ended up getting sick, but it was a lot of fun there.”
It’s all about fun in the pool for Finke. It’s one of the traits that sets him apart from other swimmers, how much fun he has in the pool.
“He’s so relaxed," Countryside coach Scott Hernon said. "He just gets in and has fun. He enjoys what he’s doing and he knows how to race.
"If somebody’s close, he’ll run them down.”
Finke didn’t have to worry about close at last year’s state high school meet. He easily won his two individual events, the 200 IM and 500 Free.
The most difficult thing for Finke was the decision he had to make, swim with team USA or Countryside. He chose the Cougars.
“Bobby’s character is amazing," Hernon said. "What a very humble young man.
"He’s doing all these wonderful things with swimming, but I’ve got to pull him to the front, ‘Bobby, could you come up so we can actually see your face.’ “
Another season like last year and Finke will be at the forefront of his sport with more gold medals.