EDMOND — It's the first thing most people ask Deer Creek graduate Typ Whinnery. And despite the fact he's answered it time and time again, it's still pretty incredible.
"How do you do it?" It gets asked of him the minute he steps out of the pool.
The star swimmer for the Antlers was in one of the more unique situations: being one of the best swimmers in the state without having a coach.
"Going into every season I would make up my mind about what I wanted to do, and I would keep pushing myself," Whinnery said.
The results speak for themselves. Whinnery dominated at the 2009 state championships, winning two titles despite battling an illness.
Without the illness, Whinnery's talents were on full display in February as he once again earned two more championships.
It's tough to determine which feat was more impressive, winning the 500-yard freestyle by nearly 14 seconds or winning the 100 breaststroke by more than two seconds. His breaststroke time was the best, regardless of class. And he was easily a two-time All-City first team swimmer.
The sport has come naturally to Whinnery ever since he was first dipped into a pool. And ever since he moved to the Edmond area in second grade, he hasn't missed a beat.
You could forgive him if he was a little bitter about the fact that he never had a coach, but Whinnery said he doesn't have any regrets.
"I missed the moral support that comes with having a team and coaches. I didn't have anybody in other lanes chasing me, but that's OK because I have a lot of friends in the swimming community," Whinnery said.
Whinnery was sought after by plenty of schools — ranging from small liberal arts colleges to Division I programs — before he chose Army.
Not having a coach did have some benefits, though, as nobody was there to tell Whinnery "no." He was able to experiment with some things and see what he could to push himself to the brink.
"I stayed tenacious about it. A lot of coaches were surprised I could do this at such a high level," Whinnery said.
But anyone who has watched him swim competitively knows it's not a surprise at all that Whinnery was able to succeed.
"There is definitely a sense of self-accomplishment," Whinnery said. "It was a lot harder, but I knew what I wanted."