Gilroy’s Chris Critzer speeds his way through the water

Morgan Hill Mako's swimmer Chris Critzer takes off from the blocks at the start of the 100-yard freestyle race at the Zone 1 South 14U Championships held at the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center.

MORGAN HILL—Chris Critzer has two accomplishments to his name, only one of those won’t officially be in the record books.
Critzer, a swimmer for the Makos Swim Team in Morgan Hill, was on the Pacific All Star Team that  shattered a national records in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays.
The team swam the 200y in 1:34.06 and the 400y in 3:24.07.
The 200y relay broke the record by .04 seconds. The 400y relay was broken by 3 seconds.
It won’t go down as a national record because Critzer was swimming for an All-Star team as opposed to if he swam with all Makos members.
It will still go down as a Pacific Region record, breaking a mark set in 2011.
“We were surprised,” we broke the record, Critzer said, who swam the second leg of the relays.
Critzer also was among the first in the South Bay/Central Coast area to break 1 minute in the 100y butterfly in his age group at the Junior Olympics in December.
“I thought one of our older kids had previously got it,” Critzer said. “I was happy (upon hearing it was a record), but I want to make it even harder so someone else can’t break it.”
All this, and he hasn’t yet turned 13. The seventh grader at Brownell Middle School in Gilroy has been swimming for six years.
He got into swimming because his parents wanted to make sure he stayed active.
But being active doesn’t appear to necessarily be a problem.
Although his father  Jim Critzer played football growing up, it was swimming they chose because of a previous concussion, Chris said.
“When they (Chis and his sister Nicole) were seven, we didn’t want them doing the whole video game routine,” Jim said. “My wife and I talked about it and said let’s get them into something where they can compete, because live is very competitive.”
At Brownell, Chris plays for the seventh-grade basketball team.
“If he could, he would play five sports at once,” Jim said.
It seems to have paid off for him as the 11/12-year-old swimmer  has set his mark in both the sprints and in the long distance swims.
He will swim a 50-yard race and turn around and tackle a 500-yard swim. But, he said, it’s all in his legs and how he uses them.
“In the 500, I’m trying to not use my legs that much until the end,” Chris said. “In the 50, I’m just going all out.”
You can say swimming runs in the family.
Jim swam in high school as a way to keep up conditioning after football. Chris’ twin sister Nicole is also a swimmer in her own right at Makos.
Over the weekend, Nicole and Chris swam in the Zone 1 South 14U Championships at the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center.
The duo combined for seven first place finishes  and one second place finish. Both swimmers were seeded No. 1 going into the swim.
Chris won all four of the events he raced, including beating out his closest competitor by 3 seconds in the 100y free.
In the 50y fly, he was on pace to break his mark in the 100y fly when he broke the 1 minute mark.
Chris finished in 27.62. If he kept up the pace, he would have shaved four seconds off his time in the 100y fly.
The results are the extend of where the twins are identical.
Chris is roughly a foot taller than his sister, but both are spitfires in their own rights.
Still, Chris is looking to really set his mark on Makos Swimming, including another milestone: breaking 50 seconds in the 100y free.

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