Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Local swimming

Swimmer Devin McCaffrey, a middle schooler, brings in collegiate times

PALM HARBOR — In school, Devin McCaffrey is a normal, straight-A student at Seven Springs Middle.

In the pool, however, the 14-year-old is ready for college.

McCaffrey travels from his home in Trinity to the North Pinellas YMCA everyday to swim with his coach, Scott Hernon. Their relationship over the past 15 months has become something McCaffrey certainly cherishes.

"I don't know what to say about him," McCaffrey said. "He knows me better than any coach I've ever had. It's great to have a coach that knows my stroke and can help me get better the way that he has. I'm not sure what it is, there is just a connection there."

Hernon has seen his share of young swimmers, having coached high school, middle school, college and at the YMCA level. According to Hernon, McCaffrey is unique.

"His competitiveness is unreal," Hernon said. "If someone is close to him in the last leg of the race, he'll run them down. He is starting to train now as hard as he swims in the meets and it's catching up. We've worked on a lot of little things like turns, starting and finishing well, and how he comes out of the water. The times that he is swimming now are collegiate times."

The relationship with his coach, combined with 28 hours of training every week, has translated into success in a big way for McCaffrey. In February, he was named Best YMCA swimmer in his age group after winning six gold medals and one bronze in seven events at a YMCA meet in Orlando. He is ranked first in the state and eighth nationally in the 200-meter breaststroke.

At the Florida Junior Olympics last month, McCaffrey won three medals while swimming in an impressive 17 events in three days with 16 personal-best times.

McCaffrey's strength is short-distance events.

"I don't like building up to speed," he said. "I just like to get out and go. I have a lot of energy, so I like to push hard all of the time."

Brian McCaffrey, Devin's father, has been involved with youth football programs for several years, but has seen his son flourish as a swimmer more than he could have as a football player.

"It's been a unique experience for me because I don't know anything about swimming," said Brian, who played football at Ohio State. "If it were football or baseball, I'd be critical and want to coach him myself. I like that he is into swimming because I can just support him and be a proud parent when I see what he has achieved and how hard he works at it."

Submit feedback, story ideas to community

Fast facts

Devin McCaffrey

Age: 14

School, grade: Seven Springs Middle School, eighth

Etc: McCaffrey will attend Mitchell High School, where he plans to compete for the swim team. His goal is to swim in college for a prestigious swimming school such as Auburn or attend Ohio State, where his father went to school. His dream is to swim in the Olympics.

Swimmer Devin McCaffrey, a middle schooler, brings in collegiate times 03/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009 6:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.