Athlete of the Week: Ben Harris - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Ben Harris

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) -

A family legacy is beginning to grow in Stevens Point. What began in the pool with Joel Harris -- former SPASH swimmer, now a member of the Pointers' swim team -- has continued at SPASH with his brother Ben.

In 95 conference events, Panthers' swimmer and team captain Ben Harris has won an astounding 93 of them. The senior is considered by his coach and teammates to be the swim squad's anchor, but if there's one thing Harris doesn't do in the pool... it's sink.

"Ben has been a mainstay of this team throughout his four years,” SPASH swim coach Bob Allen said. “He's been a team leader, a powerhouse. He's gone out and done more than any coach could ask of a kid. He's just really swam beautifully."

Since joining the team as a freshman, Harris has helped the Panthers to four consecutive Wisconsin Valley titles, including this year's crown. During the conference meet on Feb. 4, Harris finished his high school career undefeated in Valley championship competition, taking home four golds.

"It's been great. SPASH has been a ton of fun,” Harris said. “I've been swimming since my freshman year with Bob [Allen], and we're just really good at winning in conference, so it's been a lot of fun."

Harris will also leave SPASH with two pool and two school freestyle swim records. But more than trophies and record times, he'll leave behind a team that has leaned heavily on his leadership.

"Ben's been there to motivate me the whole way,” teammate, junior Zach Dahlseng. “He pushed me in practices when I wasn't feeling really good for practice. He pushed me the whole way. He always gave me a good talk, a good pep talk, and got me going for the practice. And he's been great in meets to have there as a motivator."

"High school is just a bunch of fun,” Harris said. “We're just a really tight group of guys and we just have a lot of fun together."

Harris and the Panthers have two more events before the season concludes: team sectionals on Feb. 13 and state on Feb. 20 in Madison.

The Harris family tradition will continue next year at SPASH, as Joel and Ben's younger brother Drew Harris is expected to join the squad as a freshman.

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