LINDEN - With basketball grabbing most of the area's headlines, it may be easy for one to overlook an accomplished high school swimmer.

Not in Montgomery County.

The 2015 Swimmer of the Year award goes to North Montgomery's Javan Barton, a senior and Academic All-American who plans to attend Indiana University this fall.

When asked to summarize his season and what it meant to him, Barton began his response with "oh boy."

"I was just really proud to be part of such a great team, we accomplished a lot" Barton said. "It's definitely been a bitter-sweet experience, now that it's my last year, but I think it was a great run and I'm really happy with the way it turned out."

Records broken

Some of Barton's individual accolades this season, to mention a few, are his record-breaking times in the 100-yard Freestyle and the 100-yard Backstroke events at 0:48.39 and 0:56.17, respectively.

Barton was conference champion of the 100-yard Freestyle, 200-yard Medley and 200-yard Freestyle relays. He and his relay team were also sectional champions in the 200-yard Freestyle.

Consisting of Luke Spencer, Jeffrey Miller, Gus Maxwell and Barton, the quartet also set new school records in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:40.09 and in the 400-yard free relay with a time of 3:31.42.

Competitive spirit

North Montgomery boys' coach Eric Verduin said watching a swimmer like Barton grow has been a joy.

"Javan is a great kid to coach," Verduin said. "He always works hard and was voted hardest-worker in previous years by his teammates. He always tries to do what you tell him [to do] to improve, he's very coachable and is always supportive of his team." Verduin added that he doesn't do anything to attract attention, except "swim fast."

As part of the relay team, which broke its own record in the 200-yard free relay twice this season, Barton helped them record a final time of 1:30.36, enough to send the foursome to state in said event. Unfortunately for Barton and his teammates, they came up short of winning the state title.

A testament of his selflessness, Barton had the opportunity to compete at the state level individually, but chose to compete as part of the relay team, instead. He was fast enough in other events, but chose to do what was best for the team, said Verduin.

"The decision to go to state, individually, was pretty tough," Barton said. "I was happy just to go to state with my teammates. It was a more meaningful experience to get to go with a bunch of other members of the team and not just myself."