To understand me, you must first understand my environment. My family enjoys competition where physical fitness and academic excellence are daily activities. Our kitchen table was a classroom for debating historic events or learning grammar. Both my parents and grandparents earned advanced degrees and continue to swim and run regularly. My grandparents are 80 years old, and they continue to swim everyday; therefore, swimming and competition have been a significant part of my background. I learned to swim before I learned to walk, and I identify myself to physical fitness, nutrition and academics.
Throughout adolescence, I had mentors who influenced and shaped my attitude. My father says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I have been lucky in that respect. My father is a former state trooper pilot and now college professor, who taught me discipline and dedication. My mother is a Florida state attorney and imparted academic fortitude.
In the last thirteen (13) years, swim coaches have reinforced my physical and mental perseverance. At the Bolles School, Coach Jon Sakovich taught me nutrition, mental focus, and stroke perfection, earning Junior National times. Coach Sergio Lopez mentored me with encouragement and ushered my self-confidence. Coach Mike Kuzma taught strength training and psychological stamina, and finally Coach Clare Blackwell dogs me to never quit.
However, it does not end there. My dorm dads (Ben Irie, Mike Boswell, Tony Shubert, and Ryan Brewer) are surrogate fathers who counsel me daily and voted me Dorm Prefect and Dorm Ambassador, leadership roles in the dorms, managing sixty (60+) males and hosting potential new students. Dean Scott Smith, who is Dean of Bolles Administration and my personal academic tutor, has marshaled me through academic milestones. I am in debt to them to be the best leader and student-athlete, representing Bolles, my family, and my community in years to come.
Finally, I recently earned my FAA private pilot license, and when I have a free moment, I enjoy fishing on the St. Johns River near Bolles School. I am searching for the best possible academic and athletic programs, which fit my future goals. I plan to continue my education and swimming career to the highest levels. I will attend law school and become actively involved in my community, but my ultimate target is the Olympics. I believe the lessons learned from swimming and education developed my well-balanced attitude, and it will continue to guide me into the twenty-first (21st) century.