PEORIA — After an all-state campaign on the football field, Richwoods senior T'Nahleg Hall has had no trouble diving right into his usual offseason training program.
Since his freshman year, Hall also has been a part of the Knights swimming team before running the sprints for the Richwoods track and field squad.
That's probably not what would be considered the typical activities for a three-sport athlete. And at 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Hall is probably not your prototypical swimmer.
On the football field, he rushed for 2,085 yards (including a playoff record 427 in one game) and scored 22 touchdowns to help the Knights reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals.
Hall also has been to the state meet in track and field, as a member of the Richwoods 4x200-meter relay team.
But in the pool, Hall has not met with that kind of success. And he's OK with that.
"I got on the swim team because our school has a tradition, and I want to give back to the school," he said. "But when I swam competitively my freshman year, it was my first time ever swimming."
And he's come a long way since then, according to Richwoods coach Lynn Thompson.
"He was like a guppy his freshman year," she said. "But T'Nahleg is a very hard worker and takes instruction well. That's probably why he's gotten so much faster. He just went 25 (seconds for a 50-yard leg in the 200 free relay). His freshman year, he was probably at 40."
Hall had the fastest leg (:25.45) on the Knights relay team that finished 12th in the 25th annual Richwoods Midwest Invitational on Saturday, which helped the host team place third in a 10-team field.
The Knights totaled 294.5 points, finishing behind winner Orland Park Sandburg (473) and runner-up Normal U-High (322). Notre Dame was fourth (261) and Dunlap fifth (223).
The Irish got pool-record performances from senior Colton Paulson in both the 100 freestyle (:46.58) and the 200 freestyle (1:40.75) events. Paulson also anchored the Irish to wins in the 200 free relay (1:30.15) and the 400 free relay (3:18.95).
The Metamora Co-op was ninth, but got wins in the 200 IM (1:58.18) and in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.69) from sophomore Justin Alderson.
Hall also swam the 50 freestyle in the meet, which is his specialty.
"He's so strong, and gets people because he's probably the first one off the blocks," Thompson said. "He has great reaction time, and that's coming from football — the reaction time to the snap."
Hall also contributes to the swim team in other ways.
"In practice, you divide the swimmers by ability levels," Thompson said. "He's a good leader in his lane, and is good about keeping things light. He's good about bringing humor to the group."
That has helped the Knights become more cohesive as a group.
"It's fun, and we're more of a family," Hall said. "And I fell like, at this point, we're more attached to each other than any other sport."
Hall has been busy trying to decide where to play football in college, where he is planning on playing just one sport.
"He's going to hang it up from here," Thompson said. "Knowing that he's being recruited, he's going to have to take some recruiting trips. He could have not come out this season and focused on that.
"But he said he wasn't going to give up on something that he has started. T'Nahleg is the kind of kid that's rooted in tradition. He bleeds green."
Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.