State is already on their slate.
Come mid-February, Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior Jakson Winn and a handful of his teammates will be headed to the 3A state swim and dive championships.
Just three weeks into the Islanders’ season, co-captain Winn has already notched individual state-qualifying times in the 50-yard freestyle (21.80) and 100-yard backstroke (53.59).
Three relays featuring Winn have also nailed state-qualifying marks: The 200-yard medley relay (1:38.10 with Emmett Ralston, Brandon Petersen and Matthew Shield); the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:23.07 with Chris Chechitelli, Shield and Petersen); and the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:28.02 with Shield, Colin Carmichael and Evan Liu).
With a 3-0 record at press time and plenty of time for more state-qualifying marks to surface, Winn and co-captains Alex Levin, Petersen and Chechitelli are leading the way to the Islanders’ sterling KingCo performances.
In Winn’s third year on the squad, the swimmer said he’s, “Mainly just focusing on the team aspect of it. Making sure that I’m scoring points for the team, and that just seems to be working and allowing me to (get) state times.”
Winn enjoys building up mental toughness — especially in the 50 free — to reap success. In his leadership role, Winn joins his fellow captains in making sure everyone’s feeling comfortable with the team atmosphere, cheering for the divers during meets and are masked up at all times when they’re on the pool deck.
The former soccer and basketball player launched his swimming career as an eighth-grader after sustaining a broken foot during a hoops game. Swimming was a part of the recovery process to regain the flexibility in his ankle.
“It turns out I really enjoyed it, so I just was like, ‘You know, this might be a new chapter in my life,’” said Winn, who tried out for the swim team and has never looked back. He plays basketball every once in a while, but swimming has taken over in the favorite-sport department.
On the college front, Winn will be attending the Colorado School of Mines next year with plans to major in mechanical engineering and possibly be part of the swim program.
The Reporter asked Winn a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Caeleb Dressel. He seems like a really cool dude that I could talk to and get advice on swimming. At the same time, I feel like we would have some good laughs.
What’s the best piece of advice that you would give a fellow swimmer?
If you really want it, you can go do it. It’s just going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of time. Swimming is one of those sports that nothing will really come easily. You might have some strokes that you’ll be better at than others, but to really further your growth in the sport, you’re going to have to really set specific goals and work for them.
What’s a hidden talent that you have that maybe somebody wouldn’t know about?
I’m a decent saxophone player. I played saxophone for four or five years, and then just recently I decided to switch full time to swimming.
What type of music do you listen to?
Basically everything. As long as it has a nice groove or a nice beat to it, I’m open to listen to it.
What’s a skill that you would like to learn?
Forging, blacksmithing and stuff. I’ve watched a lot of “Forged in Fire” when I don’t have anything else to do, and that just always seemed super interesting.
What’s your favorite movie that’s caught your attention recently?
If someone were to make a movie about you, who would play you?
In “Spider-Man,” the most recent one, Spider-Man’s best friend — Ned, Jacob Batalon. I think I have a very similar personality to him.
BOYS SWIM AND DIVE SCHEDULE
Dec. 16 SAMMAMISH, 3 p.m.
Jan. 4 at Issaquah (Boehm Pool), 4 p.m.
Jan. 11 BAINBRIDGE, 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 at Skyline (Boehm Pool), 4 p.m.
Jan. 20 LINDBERGH, 3 p.m.
Jan. 25 KENTRIDGE, 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 RENTON, 3 p.m.