Ramsey looks back on incredibly successful swim season

Monday, August 5, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Hampton graduate and John Carroll rising senior men’s swimmer Matt Ramsey had such a successful season, there is not much left for him to accomplish.

Ramsey, 21, set meet records in two events individually at the Ohio Athletic Conference championship and made honorable mention All-America in two relays at the NCAA Division III meet.

“To be honest, I achieved all of my career goals in swimming after last season,” Ramsey said. “The few that I had to take care of were to place top 16 at NCAAs, break 20 seconds in the 50 freestyle off of a relay, re-qualify for winter nationals and to break the school record in the 100 freestyle.

“I accomplished all of those last year. This year, I just want to make it back to NCAAs, as well as have a strong performance at winter nationals.”

Ramsey set a meet record (20.47 seconds) to win the 50-yard freestyle at the conference championship. He took first place in the 100 freestyle (45.78) after setting a meet record (45.53) in the preliminaries.

He placed second in the 200 freestyle (one minute, 43.97 seconds).

He anchored the 200 freestyle relay (1:22.02), 400 medley relay (3:19.78), 200 medley relay (1:30.78) and 400 freestyle relay (3:04.44) teams that won with meet records.

He led the Blue Streaks, who are based near Cleveland, to the conference title.

At the NCAA championship, Ramsey anchored the 200 medley relay (1:31.46) and 400 freestyle relay (3:03.40) teams that placed 15th and 16th, respectively. It was the first time since 1993 the Blue Streaks had multiple All-America relays.

The Blue Streaks finished tied for 35th place.

“I would like to see us get more guys to NCAAs this year and possibly place top eight in a relay,” said Ramsey, the 2016 WPIAL Class AA boys champion in the 50 freestyle and the 2015 WPIAL Class AA champion in the 100 freestyle. “Hopefully, I can have a better individual performance in the 50 freestyle at NCAAs as well.

“Our mindset as a team at NCAAs last year was a ‘just happy to be there’ mindset. We definitely know what to fix and work on so that we can make it back there and compete at a higher level.”

Ramsey, who is studying accounting and finance, said staying in shape this summer has been somewhat of a challenge.

“The lap pool at my YMCA has been under construction all summer,” he said. “There hasn’t been a whole lot of swimming going on. I lift weights every other night when I get home from work and I usually golf or play my saxophone the nights in between lifts.”

Ramsey, 6-foot, 185 pounds, considered making a run at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

“In 2016, I came within a half of a second of the trials cut, which I thought was pretty cool,” Ramsey said. “I could probably come within a half a second of the cut again, but I am totally fine with ending my career with winter nationals and NCAAs following that. It’s been a great career and the sport of swimming has been more than good to me.”

John Carroll coach Mark Fino said his goals for Ramsey are to continue to enjoy the process and maintain the Blue Streaks’ high standards.

“We want him to make a lasting impact and set a legacy that allows this team to compete at the NCAA championships for years to come,” Fino said.