Chaney concludes H.S. career as one of Mason’s all time greats

Indranshu Das | Staff Writer

Adam Chaney is the greatest of all time. 

That’s what Mason head swimming coach Marc Sullivan thinks. Sullivan, a hall of fame swimming coach himself,  believes Chaney will be remembered as the greatest swimmer in Comet history, and potentially one of the best overall athletes. 

“I’ve not coached or associated too much with the other sports as much as swimming, but I can definitively say Adam is one of the best, if not the best swimmer, and athlete to come out of the Boys’ program that I have ever coached,” Sullivan said. 

A high school all-american, national champion, multiple time state champion, state record holder Mason record holder, one of the most highly recruited athletes in the country, and a recent University of Florida commit; Chaney has the resume to back up the claim.

For Chaney, being labeled as the greatest to ever come through Mason isn’t the only way he wants to be remembered. Chaney said that he also wants to be known by his impact as a teammate and a student as well. 

“It all starts at home, my mom pushes me to become stronger academically and more personable so I can open up more opportunities for myself outside of swimming,” Chaney said. “So when it comes down to it — I want people to remember me as Adam Chaney the person.”

Chaney, a top five national recruit in this year’s class, said all his coaches had a significant impact on him as a swimmer, especially Sullivan. Chaney said that apart from swimming advice, Sullivan has been a great mentor and created an environment with an incredible support system for the entire team. 

“He’s always talking to me and making sure I was okay along with just being there for me when I need it the most,” Chaney said.”I personally felt the support and encouragement from him everyday when I see him on the pool deck, pushing not only me but the others on the team as well.” 

Chaney has distinguished himself as a competitor on the world stage, whether it is swimming in Budapest or in Fiji, Chaney said the venue doesn’t change how he approaches each meet and enjoys the experience of going against new competition.

“I just try to be myself out there and enjoy the moment, Chaney said. “Us swimmers consider the competition against each other to be friendly, as our main goals are to set records that we hold personally, and not try to bring each other down.”

Coach Sullivan, who has been the Mason coach for 17 years,  said one of Chaney’s qualities that stood out to him the most was his improved leadership throughout the season, which was on full display during the 

200 medley relay at the State meet this year. Sullivan said that his achievements individually are remarkable itself, but what he brought out of his teammates was what set him apart from the rest of the competition.

“One of the most feel-good moments I had as a coach was when Adam showed his true self during a very critical moment,” Sullivan said. “Our anchor Kevin Wu during that race got out-touched by the other schools which cost us the title. However, the minute Kevin finished Adam put his hand in the water to high five him for giving his 110% and told him that this was on everyone and not just him.”

Chaney has grown as a competitor and as a  young man during his time swimming for the Comets. Chaney said his mother played a big part in the development of him becoming a well rounded person. His mom would push him academically so he could be known as Adam Chaney the intelligent, well-spoken student athlete and not just Adam Chaney the fast swimmer. 

“My mom tends to stay away from the swimming aspect of things at home and tries to focus on the other things in life like my school and social life,” Chaney said. “She helps me to stay calm and keep things simple to not overwhelm me with multiple things at once.”

For Chaney, his biggest accomplishment wasn’t the numerous records and titles, it was the moments he got to share with his teammates and coaches at the medley relays and practices.

“My biggest memory as a high school swimmer would come from beating the state record in the 200 relay,” Chaney said. “Although we couldn’t manage to get first place and beat St. Xavier we managed to get past a big team goal of ours which was monumental to us as a unit.”

Besides the improvement in communication and leadership skills, Coach Sullivan said Chaney’s versatility as a swimmer improved significantly over the past four years–which will serve as a huge benefit to him going into college where the pressure to perform will be higher. 

“He’s gotten himself very versatile in the butterfly and backstroke as well,” Sullivan said.”If he was allowed to, he could’ve won 2 or 3 more state titles had he participated in those events along with his main stroke freestyle. He’s going to be really good — not just in Florida, but for a long long time.”

Graphic by Aadrija Biswas. | Photo by Riley Johansen.