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Swim and dive: Forsyth Central freshman Ocean Gorecki born to swim
Ocean Gorecki
Forsyth Central freshman Ocean Gorecki qualified for February's Class 7A-6A state meet in the 100 fly, 100 back, 200 medley and 400 free. - photo by David Roberts

Ocean Gorecki is a natural in the water.

It's somewhat expected of Forsyth Central's freshman swimmer, who might have the most fitting name out of any athlete in Forsyth County.

Gorecki's unique name is borne out of his parents' desire to give him a meaningful name. 

"She's from Seattle, where they have more unique names, so Ocean would be a little bit more common," Gorecki said. "But it's really that it's strong and can take down anything, but at the end of the day is very peaceful, and you can sit by the ocean on the beach."

Gorecki has a sister, Ireland, who is a junior at Central, as well as two half-siblings, Mitchell and Alexis. 

His middle name is Alexander, which seems common enough on its own. Put it after Ocean, though, and you've got one of the world's largest yacht manufacturing companies, Ocean Alexander.

"Our uncle came home one day wearing all these shirts and hats that said 'Ocean Alexander,' and we're like, 'Oh, that's so cool!' And he's like, 'Yeah, it's a yacht company,'" Gorecki said with a laugh.

Gorecki doesn't shy away from the attention his name brings.

"Oh, yeah. I love it," he said. "It gets a lot of attention, and it fits well with swim, which was not planned at all. Swim was one of our last sport options, actually. It just sort of worked. It's really unique, and I like standing out a little bit."

Gorecki's performance in the pool this season has also helped him stand out. 

He helped set a new school record in the 4x100, and he will swim four events next month at the Class 7A-6A state meet at Georgia Tech: 100 fly, 100 back, 200 medley, 400 free.

Gorecki's favorite event is the 100 fly. He swam the event in 54.73 seconds last weekend at the Forsyth County Championship, finishing fourth, which is about three seconds faster than his time at the beginning of the season.

Part of that growth is attributed to an endurance that was partly built on Lake Lanier.

"When COVID happened and they had to cancel practices and school, me and my dad would go out on the lake," Gorecki said. "He would go next to me on the boat and I would swim down to this peninsula to get in some practice."

Gorecki tried other sports before swim, but after he completed a tryout in third grade, one of the coaches offered him a cupcake if he joined the team. Gorecki took him up on the offer and has been invested in swim ever since.

"I enjoy that you're on a team, but you compete for yourself," Gorecki said. "I feel like it's great to motivate others, but you also get to compete with them. If you're working as hard as you can, you just feel like you don't have to rely on anybody else, and you get direct results, which is a great feeling. Everything about swimming just feels comfortable. I really enjoy pushing myself in the water. I love swimming. I've always loved swimming in the pool and in the lake."

Gorecki credits Central coach Asheley Bell and Swim Atlanta coach Landon Harris with positioning him to qualify for the state meet as a freshman, where he'll test himself against the some of the top swimmers in Georgia.

The 2022 GHSA swim and dive state championship is Feb. 3-5 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

"I'm not really nervous because I've done state before with Swim Atlanta Midway, but it's definitely exciting," Gorecki said. "The county meet was super exciting. The county meet I've heard is usually the most exciting meet of the season, and it was super fun. I actually dropped some good time on my old times, which is very good. I'm excited to see what happens at state when I'm actually tapered and rested."