Wallace has been swimming since he was young – he grew up in Draper with a swimming pool in his backyard. When his family moved to Cedar City when he was 10 years old, Wallace joined a swim club and continued to hone the skills that have made him one of the best young swimmers in the state.
At Canyon View’s first Region 12 championship meet at the Cedar City Aquatic Center Jan. 30, Wallace set a new school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:02.91 and won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.45. But swimming is not Wallace’s only talent; he excels in the classroom at SUCCESS as well, where he boasts a 3.99 high school GPA and a 3.97 college GPA.
“At first it was the opportunity to get my associate’s degree as I graduated high school,” Wallace said of his decision to attend SUCCESS. “Their motto is to help you excel and that’s really what SUCCESS has helped me do, not only in the classroom, but in sports it has taught me to work hard and manage my time.”
Yet, despite his accomplishments in the classroom and numerous accolades in the swimming pool, success did not come easily for Wallace.
“When I first started swimming (competitively) I was about 11 and I wasn’t very good,” he said. “I’ve always tried to push myself and become the best at what I’m doing … I progressed a bit, wanted to quit a couple times, played basketball, and then I hit 13, 14 and decided to stick with swimming and became more serious about it.”
That seriousness paid off during his freshman year of high school, when Wallace placed in the top eight swimmers at the 3A state tournament. He broke the Canyon View school records during his sophomore year in the 50 and 100 freestyle and won the 50 free at state. Last year, he won both the 50 and 100 freestyle at state and broke a few more school records. Now in his final year swimming for Canyon View, Wallace continues to break school records, and with the state tournament on the horizon, Wallace has his sights set on a new state record and qualifying for the Olympic trials.
Wallace gives credit to his coaches, which have included his mother Cathy Wallace, Richard Coston, Blair Bentley, Dani Caldwell and Kirt Brown, for his success. He also gives credit to “great” teachers at SUCCESS who have been understanding and supportive of his swimming career, while also helping him learn in the classroom.
“It’s been a great experience,” Wallace said of SUCCESS. “It’s allowed me to balance my schedule while I swim one to two hours every morning and three hours in the afternoon. I have great teachers who have let me do … trips and miss school multiple days and helped me work my way through it. It’s a lot more personal.”
With an associate degree under his belt after graduation this spring, Wallace plans to graduate from BYU with a bachelor’s degree within two or three years and hopes eventually to pursue a master’s degree in business. And, of course, Wallace is thrilled at the opportunity to swim for BYU, a program coming off a conference championship in 2014.
“They have a great swim program and business program,” Wallace said of his decision to attend BYU. “It was a good fit.”
When asked if he was excited about his future, Wallace smiled confidently and said, “Yeah, it will be fun.”
Wallace and the Canyon View Falcons swim team will take part in the state swim meet Feb. 12-13 at BYU.