UPDATE: Burton will compete in the 100m backstroke at 12:43 p.m. (ET) and will swim again Friday in the 50m freestyle 11:00 a.m. (ET).
Training to get to the Olympics is no joke; at least it wasn’t for brother Luke Burton, Davidson ’17. Burton trained this past summer two times a day to prepare for the swimming qualifying rounds, but that’s not all it took from him.
“It is a multi-dimensional process,” said Burton. “This summer I spent a lot of days doing triples—swim, lift, swim—and getting accustomed to swimming outside and in the long [50 meter] course pool.”
Burton also learned that it takes more than working out to maintain a sound body.
“Diet, sleep and hydration are also huge,” he said. “This summer I was consistently consuming 6,000-7,000 calories, a gallon of water and getting nine, or more, hours of sleep every day.”
The training certainly paid off. After heading to California to compete at the Southern California Sectionals, Burton qualified in the 50-freestyle for the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials. Though, he says his experience is beyond the pool, comparing it to playing in an NBA all-star game with all your favorite basketball heroes.
“The allure of trials is getting to swim with some of the most talented men and women in the world,” Burton said.
While some Olympic hopeful athletes focus only on training, Burton is determined not to fit a specific stereotype.
“When looking at my professional future, it’s easy to slip into the athletic stereotype,” he said. “Having SigEp, pride in my chapter and involvement in making change has given me credibility.”
Burton has earned his credibility by taking part of the executive committee by holding a standards board position and, most recently, being elected vice president of member development.
“SigEp has been huge for my personal leadership development,” he said. “Through my involvement, I’ve experienced lessons in leadership that are easily transferable to the world of swimming.”
Cameron Bard, Davidson ’16, both a brother and swimming teammate of Burton, spoke to the natural conduciveness between the Fraternity and their athletic careers.
“Having teammates within the Fraternity is great for a multitude of reasons,” stated Bard. “We love representing both Davidson and SigEp at our meets, and we receive endless support from the brotherhood for our athletic endeavors.”
The support from the brotherhood and his teammates contribute to Burton’s leadership qualities.
“Luke actively asks questions of us to ensure that his leadership style is as effective as possible, and to give everyone a voice. He simply commands respect, and for these reasons, it’s obvious why he’s both a team captain and the leader of our transition from pledging to the Balanced Man Program.”
There’s no doubt that SigEp’s Cardinal Principles – Virtue, Diligence and Brotherly Love – make Burton an effective scholar, athlete and leader.
Burton is a junior psychology major and minor in education, and holds a 3.3 GPA.