Byron Shefchik

Hometown and Current residence:  I went to high school in Houghton, Michigan, which is in the Upper Peninsula (north of Wisconsin). Interesting fact: 80% of Canadians live south of where I went to high school! I currently reside with my wife and children in Bentonville.

Family and Occupation: My parents and most of my siblings live in Utah and my oldest daughter is serving an 18-month mission in South Texas. I work for Tyson Foods at the headquarters in Springdale.

Swimming background: I swam off and on from 8 years old through high school and walked onto the team at BYU in Utah and ended up setting a school record in the 200 breaststroke my freshman year. After a two-year church mission in Costa Rica, I dropped another 6 seconds in that race and finished my college career a Division 1 All-American and the 13th fastest 200 yard breaststroker of all time.

Favorite event/race:  200 breast. For some reason, I find it easy. The first 150 is pretty relaxed and the last 50 is an attempt to sprint while your body is filled with lactic acid…you just do what you can do and the pain is temporary.

Swimming hero:I wish I could swim Freestyle like Matt Biondi but I also looked up to Mike Barrowman as a 200 breaststroker and Summer Sanders with her beautiful butterfly stroke.

Swimming goals:  I’m close to the 200 yard Breaststroke American record, so that’s my main goal this year. Eventually, I’d love to set a Masters World Record, but I might have to swim until I’m 105 to do that!

Advice to new masters swimmers:  Swimming is a goal-oriented sport. Set your goal and work toward that. Then set another one.

Hobbies:  Most of my “free” time is spent swimming or lifting weights. But I also enjoy hiking and bike riding with my family, with so many trails in and around Bentonville.

Favorite Drills:   My favorites are fist-swimming to get used to using your entire forearm for propulsion and breaststroke pull with a pull buoy (no dolphin kicks) to ensure my pull is driving me forward rather than just lifting my upper body 

Do you participate in other sports?  I will occasionally play basketball but honestly I’m worried about getting hurt and don’t want it to affect my swimming!

Where do you currently swim? I swim at the Bentonville Community Center in the early mornings and often lift at the Jones Center during lunch but when I’m tapering for a meet, I’ll sleep in and just swim at the Jones Center during lunch.

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