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SHP Swim Standout Named State's Athlete of the Year

Cal-Hi Sports honor caps year in which Tom Kremer garnered serious consideration for Israeli Olympic team berth. Kremer earlier this year shattered a 29-year-old high school record held by a former Olympian.

was a relatively obscure club swimmer when he entered Sacred Heart Prep four years ago.  

He's now an elite Stanford-bound swimmer with legitimate Olympic aspirations who's already made a name for himself in international swimming circles. 

Kremer, who nearly made the Israeli Olympic team earlier this year as a 17-year-old, was named the state's Athlete of the Year among Division IV schools by Cal-Hi Sports.  

"It's definitely an honor," Kremer told Patch. "I didn't even know that I was in the running." 

Described by ESPN as "one of the best swimmers in the nation," Kremer capped a distinguished prep career by setting Central Coast Section records in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke earlier this year.

He won section titles in both events for a third straight year. Kremer landed on the short list of Israeli Olympic candidates after a strong showing at a USA Swimming Grand Prix event in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this year.  

He clocked  a one minute, 58.34 second time in the 100-meter butterfly, which prompted the prestigious  Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) to issue a recommendation to the Israeli team in support of Kremer. Kremer would have been one of the youngest swimmers to compete in London.

Swimmers are generally considered to be in their prime when they're in their 20's. The Israeli team declined. 

"I'm 17, so I can't really say I'm disappointed," Kremer said. "My coach was talking about (the Olympics) earlier this year and I didn't think I had a chance." 

Kremer figures to be in the mix for Rio in 2016. His prep career highlights include winning  the CCS 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke titles three times.

In a CCS qualifying event in May, he clocked a 47.12,obliterating a 29-year-old CCS record held Bellarmine's Pablo Morales (48.06), who went on to win a silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. 

Kremer insists that he isn't disappointed by the Israeli national team's snub, but he acknowledged that he does go into international competition with a bit of a chip on his shoulder now. 

"It definitely makes me motivated to work harder," he said. 

And he's committed to build on one of the most successful seasons in recent Peninsula sports history. 

Kremer was named Boys Swimmer of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News.

"It's been a really exciting year," he said. "I've definitely learned a lot, just getting used to jet lag and how compete against international swimmers, it's been a great year."

 

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