The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


The Student News Site of Parkway North High School


North Students Break Long-standing Sports Records

After 25 years, two Parkway North students broke long-standing records in their respective sports. Seniors Alex Shields and Patrick McCollum beat times previously held by two former North athletes in cross country and in swimming. 

“It felt really good. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years now. So it was really fulfilling, and I’m really glad I got to put my name on the wall,” McCollum said.

At senior night, senior Patrick McCollum celebrates his final season swimming for Parkway North with assistant coach Patrick Story, senior Vivek Shenoy, and coach Bart Prosser. McCollum broke the 100 freestyle record set in 1998.

McCollum broke the record for 100 freestyle, a record set in 1998. The previous record was 48.63 seconds, with McCollum’s record now being 48.26 seconds.

“That record was set…not quite 30 years ago, but I knew the young man who set it. It was exciting to have it re-broke. It happened at the beginning of my career, and now this is happening at the end of my career. It’s great. Patrick did a great job with it,” said swim coach Bart Prosser.

McCollum, who has been swimming since elementary school, broke his foot earlier this year and had to recover.

“I broke my foot over the summer, so I was a little behind the net where I was last year and throughout the season  I was a little behind where I thought I should be. wasn’t as confident as I was about breaking the record as I was last year,” McCollum said.

Despite injuries, McCollum has continued to make progress since freshman year.

“I’ve come a long way from freshman year. Freshman year, I didn’t even know that I had an opportunity to break the record. And having broken it feels really accomplished,” McCollum said.

Shields, similarly had a good season as well, breaking an almost 30 year old record. 

 “I knew it was a possibility at the beginning of the season. And the season kind of started off slow. So I was nervous,” Shields said. “But as my time started dropping, throughout the year, I knew it was becoming more and more possible. When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t know what my time was, but a student from another school told me what I ran. I was really happy.” 

Shields ran the 5k in 16:10, with the previous record being 16:28. The previous record was set in 1995. 

Like McCollum, Shields has also continued to improve since freshman year.

After coming in first place overall, senior Alex Shields gathers with his teammates at the Terry Metheny Invitational on Oct. 6, where the team earned 2nd place. Shields broke the school 5k record with a time of 16:10.

“I’ve come pretty far. I was varsity my freshman year, but my times were not that good. I think my personal best freshman year was 21:40. And my senior year personal best was 16:10. So it’s been a lot of progress. A lot of work put in,” Shields said.

Shields continued to stay motivated into his senior year.

“Last year, I was the second best runner, and I had a senior to look up to. This year, I had the senior position and people were looking up to me. So I actually felt less pressure.” Shields said.

Both seniors hope to continue being involved in their respective sports, hoping to keep moving forward in their senior year and after.

“Varsity water polo season coming up in the spring. So I hope to win conference for the third time,” McCollum said.

“I’d like to set some school records in the track season. But I also would like to run in college. I’ve gotten a few offers. So I’m happy about that,” Shields said. “I love the feeling of competing. I love having teammates. I love meeting new people. So running in college would be great. It would be a dream. I want to continue it.”

With hopes for the future, both seniors give some advice for future athletes. 

“I’d like for future swimmers to break my records, but most importantly enjoy their time at high school,” McCollum said.

 “As long as you stick with the sport, as long as you keep putting in work, then you’ll enjoy it. You’ll make friends, you’ll make connections, and you’ll end up setting the school record,” Shields said. 

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My name is Riley Gibbons. I am a junior. I enjoy writing and producing my own music outside of school, and I enjoy anything to do with music in general. I took Broadcast and Production during my sophomore year and am excited to be a part of Newspaper this year!

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