WEST NYACK, N.Y. – Ruan Zorgman enjoyed playing all sports when he was growing up but once he completed middle school, the Pleasantville senior had to make a decision.
“I played football, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, baseball and swimming,” said Zorgman, who moved to the United States from South Africa when he was 6. “I really had to pick one sport so I picked swimming. My brother did it when he was in high school.”
Zorgman focused on swimming and established himself as one of Section 1’s elite. He continued his excellence Wednesday with a pair of titles at the Section 1 Boys Swimming Championships at Felix Festa Middle School.
Zorgman won the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.9) and later added the 100 breaststroke (58.95 seconds). With his two wins, Zorgman automatically qualified for the New York State Public High School Swimming and Diving Championships March 1-2 at Webster High School in Rochester.
This will be Zorgman’ third trip to the state championships.
When Zorgman lived in South Africa, he was introduced to swimming early because there was a pool at his family's house. Zorgman realized, when he was younger, that he was a pretty good swimmer, which was another reason he said he chose to pursue it.
He joined the combined team that includes Byram Hills, Briarcliff, Pleasantville, Westlake and Valhalla as a seventh-grader, but continued playing other sports. Zorgman became serious about swimming his freshman year.
The 200 IM was the third event of the meet so Zorgman had to prepare himself quickly. He went into the race focusing on the backstroke.
“I was very surprised with my 200 IM because the backstroke is not one of my favorites even though I have fun with it,” said Zorgman, who will attend Binghamton University in the fall and continue swimming. “I focused on it in preliminaries Monday and I didn’t do that well. My club swim coach told me to focus on it and I felt it was good today.”