How did you get involved in competitive swimming?
I swam for the Jester Gators summer league team when I was 5. I was really bad. After I realized I was even worse at other sports, I went back to swimming in fifth grade and have been swimming since.
Has swimming taught you any lessons you apply to daily life?
Don’t get behind. It’s always easier to keep up — in a race, schoolwork, anything — than to have to catch back up.
What’s your best swimming memory at Anderson?
One that sticks with me was a relay during our last meet in my freshman year. It was an unusual composition for a relay — there was Matt Mahavier, a sophomore; Patrick Cantu, a junior; and Harrison Stahl, a senior. This would be the last time we swam together. We all agreed that because this was Harrison’s last relay, we would do our best to make it memorable — and we did. We all had significant time drops and ended up getting a personal best for our relay. I still sometimes think about this when I need motivation.
Tell me what your swimming schedule is like.
I get to the pool at 6:45 every weekday morning with my high school team, and swim for about an hour and 45 minutes. Anderson is one of the few high schools in the area that requires swimmers to practice with their high school team, which definitely makes us a much stronger, tight-knit team. I also swim for four to six hours every week with my club team, Capital of Texas Aquatics, which helps me get better technique and strength.
If you could have dinner with any four people in the history of the world, who would they be?
(Chef, author) Anthony Bourdain, (industrial design and special effects designer/fabricator) Adam Savage, (theoretical physicist) Richard Feynman and (comedian) Louis C.K.
Why Richard Feynman?
Richard Feynman was one of the most-brilliant minds of the 20th century. He made massive contributions to theoretical physics. He was also approachable, social and engaging.
Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know.
One way I relax is to pull a hot, strong caffè Americano and listen to some Duke Ellington or Charles Mingus.
What do you consider to be the world’s greatest invention?
The espresso machine: the most delicious way to cope with sleep deprivation.
If you had the choice of being valedictorian of your class or all-state in swimming, which would you choose?
I’m already satisfied with my class rank. Texas is a very fast swimming state, so making all-state would mean I’m among the top swimmers in the nation.
Is there a certain food you have to avoid because it would be detrimental to swimming?
I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want. And I do.