By Victor Jeong, News Editor
As spring begins, Knights varsity swimmers will once again compete in the hopes of a successful season. However, a new addition to the team has left the members inspired, and ready to challenge any opponent.
Competition has been no stranger to sophomore swimmer Jongwhee Jeon, who had arrived at the beginning of the semester. Hailing from the Boston area, Jong has quickly established himself as a veteran of sorts in competitive swimming. “I learned how to swim when I was young, and I joined a team in the third grade, but I started seriously swimming in the sixth grade,” recollected Jong. His greatest achievement was “being in the top fifty state swimmers for Massachusetts.”
Experience had proven to be key, as Jong was quickly found to be nothing short of an exceptional swimmer by his teammates. “Jong’s a beast… SFS’s standard time of under thirty seconds in fifty meter freestyle seemed like another universe. Now Jong has brought it into reality in our pool,” remarked fellow sophomore swimmer Ziho Hwang. “One day he said his body didn’t feel like sprinting, and he managed to get fifty meters in twenty seven seconds.” Second year student Justin Lee also agreed, stating that Jong was a “great swimmer.”
However, Jong’s aptitude for swimming has not come without a great deal of hard work. “I practice two hours and thirty minutes every day, that’s like 15 hours a week,” commented Jong. “He swims around four kilometers a day, that’s a lot for his age, but he has managed to endure it, and become exceptional,” mentioned Justin. When asked what it took to keep going to the pool day after day, Jong replied, “when I was young, I had a goal to be in the national swimming meet in America. Now I’m here, and I’m just trying to find a new goal right now.”
Jong’s presence on the team has not only potentially given the Knights an ace swimmer, but it has also inspired those around him. “I have a new goal to look forward to [in terms of time]. [Jong] set the range higher for other swimmers [around him],” said Ziho.
“He’s performing well right now, and I’m very proud of him, and I’m also very glad that I had the opportunity to convince him to the join the swimming team,” noted Justin.
After the first swim meet near the end of February, Jong had shown that his work in practice transitioned very well into competition. “He won every solo event he participated in, and he was the anchor for the relay in which he pushed us to third place,” said Justin. The practice that Jong had put in had made sure his form never faltered.
One thing that was noted was that Jong was only a sophomore at this point. “He’s a sophomore, which means he has three seasons left including this one,” said Ziho.
“He has the potential to become a great leader and inspiration for the team,” said Justin.
“If he stays here for the rest of his high school years, then the overall level of competition will rise in KAIAC,” predicted Ziho.
With a long season ahead, Jong managed to stay humble in any predictions and promises for the season. “I hope that I can bump up [our team] to third place in KAIAC, but swimming is not an individual sport. There are other strokes that I cannot participate in, so I’ll do my best to make our school be represented as one of the best.”