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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Colin Jacobs

The Sarasota swimmer will represent the U.S. at the World Aquatics Open Water Junior Championships.


Sarasota Sharks swimmer Colin Jacobs.
Sarasota Sharks swimmer Colin Jacobs.
Courtesy image
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Colin Jacobs is a swimmer with the Sarasota Sharks. Jacobs, 15, won the 2024 U.S. Open Water Junior National Championship at Nathan Benderson Park on May 5, swimming 7.5 kilometers in 1:28.23. With the win, Jacobs will represent the U.S. at the 2024 World Aquatics Open Water Junior Championships, held Sept. 6-8 in Alghero, Italy. 


Why did you start in competitive swimming?

Well, I had always done swim lessons since I was little. I played other sports like soccer and tennis and golf, but I was not a fan of being in the heat 24/7. Swimming was nice because, well, who doesn't want to swim in a nice, cool pool and have a good time? So I started competitive swimming, and I took it more seriously over time. I've developed a passion for it now. 


What is the appeal to you now?

I like trying to push myself to the limit every day. There is always something you can work on that will make you better. You are always learning. 


How did you start in open water swimming?

My first one was probably three years ago. I always liked to swim distance events more than shorter events. My coaches said it would be cool if I tried an open-water swim. So I did the Florida Open Water Championships and I liked it a lot. 


What's the biggest difference in open water swimming?

Well, in pool events, you have your own lane lines. There is nobody else right next to you, hitting you or elbowing you like there is in open water swimming. Also, open water events are longer, so in practicing for them, we are hitting more distance. And sometimes we will put three or four people in a lane so we get the feel of it. 



Did you expect to win at Junior Nationals?

Not really. I was actually sick less than a week before the event, so I did not have any sort of expectations. My strategy was just to not let myself get caught in a pack of swimmers where I'm getting elbowed and I have to work extra hard to get past them. I would have been happy with a top-five (finish). Halfway through the race, I was in a solid position and I thought, "You know what? I'm not hurting much right now. I'm going to push this pace stay with the lead group." And it worked out. 


What are your goals for the Junior Championships in Italy?

I want to finish top three. I have confidence in my training and I have a couple months until then. I'm trying to hammer out the reps. 


What is your favorite food?

Right now, probably salmon and rice. 


What is your favorite TV show or movie?

On the day-to-day, my favorite show is probably "Suits." But before competitions I also like to watch a movie called "Touch the Wall," which is a swimming-based movie. I have watched that since I was a little kid and it gets me hyped up to go swim fast. 


What are your hobbies?

I like to play golf with friends or go to the beach. When I'm out of the pool, I try to make sure that I'm not constantly thinking about swimming, so I also like doing things like reading. 


What is the best advice you have received?

I don't know if there has been one piece of advice that has helped me a lot. I think my family has given me good advice about not getting too worked up about results or overthinking everything that is happening in training. If you're not having fun with a sport, there is no point in doing it. 


Finish this sentence: "Colin Jacobs is … "

Driven. I always try to excel and be the best that I can be. 

 

author

Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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