FH United swimmer has Olympic dreams

High School Preps

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A dive into the water has become nearly as routine as getting out of bed in the morning for Henry Schutte.

“You could say I practically live in this building,” Schutte said, referring to the Forest Hills Aquatic Center east of Grand Rapids.

On the conservative end, the Forest Hills United swim team senior spends between 15 and 17 hours in the water each week.

“He’s kind of like the athlete that ‘I want the ball in my hand’ fourth quarter, two seconds to go,” longtime swim coach Dennis Neat said. “He hits the home run.”

Schutte is the two-time defending state champion in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle. He’s easily the favorite to do it a third time.

“You don’t walk into practice thinking, ‘At the next meet, I’m going to beat my competitor,'” Schutte said. “Every day is about pushing yourself to be a better swimmer for yourself.”

“It’s all about the clock,” Neat added. “Can I go faster at the next big opportunity?”

Headed to Virginia on a scholarship, Schutte won last year’s YMCA Short Course Nationals. He has also qualified for next summer’s Olympic Trials. Standing at 6-foot-2, he has the swimmer’s build to achieve those Olympic dreams.

But even if that never happens, he has already gained perspective that no victory brings.   

“Let’s be honest, this sport, coming in for two to three hours a day, staring at a black line (in bottom of the pool) is pretty awful,” Schutte joked. ““It’s really my friends, coaches and teammates I’ve made through the sport that make it worth it.”

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