Glastonbury Student Athlete Of The Month-January 2012
Senior at Glastonbury High School. Captain of the GHS Swimming and Diving Team. Class President GHS class of 2012, and First Violin for the GHS Chamber Orchestra.
Birthday: January 6 Oldest of three children
JJ swims for the GHS swimming and Diving team and is a team captain this year. JJ also swims on the Sonoco Aquatics team out of CCSU and the Glastonbury Parks and Recreation Swim Team.
What do you love most about your sport: I started swimming when I was 10 years old and I was good at it and I liked it. I love going fast and impressing others. Swimming requires so much aerobic strength since it’s a full body workout. You need full body strength and you have to work really hard. I also love meeting the people, since swimming is a social sport and I now have friends from all over the country.
Accomplishments: Placed top 16 in State for swimming for five consecutive seasons in the 100 freestyle, the 200 freestyle and the 00 backstroke. He swims year round, six days a week.
JJ also plays violin, which he began ten years ago. He is the current concert master in the GHS Chamber Orchestra, in which he plays first violin. During his freshman and sophomore years, he was selected for the CMEA, CT Music Education Association all-state orchestra . In 2009 and 2011 he traveled to Germany to play in the Interharmony International Music Festival. JJ teaches violin to elementary school students here in town.
How do you prepare for a meet? As a team captain, I feel my first job is to rally my teammates before a swim meet. We go for our personal best times and we push each other to make state qualifying times. I don’t have to do a lot to personally prepare for a meet because I am naturally psyched up to swim my best.
Thoughts on the Season: I’m looking forward to a great season and a strong standing in the State. We have two especially tough meets to push ourselves for, against Fairfield Prep and Amity HS. Our freshmen have a lot of talent this year, so we have huge potential to rank at states this year.
Biggest Rival: Fairfield Prep
Favorite Sports Memory: Beating Xavier our freshman and junior years. Another great memory I’ll never forget is our meet last year against Fairfield Prep. The score was really close and all the cheering and rallying from the crowd was a level of excitement I’ll always remember. Even though we lost 92-94, the support and energy from our team and the crowd was amazing.
My Role Model: Definitely my mom. She pushes me forward to succeed and she always helps me. She’s always there for me and supports me. I look up to everything she does. My parents were Vietnam war refugees and they’ve accomplished so much.
Famous People I’ve met: Michael Phelps – I met him at a swim camp at the University of Michigan. He was training for the Olympics before the Olympic time trials. I also met Davis Tarwater, Kaitlin Sandeno, Erik Vendt and Peter Vanderkaay.
Favorite Way to Relax: Sleep!! I love to just lie down and sleep since when I’m wiped out after practice. Whenever I get the chance, I love to sleep.
Favorite Class: AP Calculus and AP Chemistry. I love my teachers and it’s because of them that the classes are fun.
Favorite Snack Food: Ice cream! Especially mint chocolate chip
What’s Playing on Your Ipod?: I love everything from Eminem to Mozart. To psych up, I listen to Eminem or Jay Z. When I’m hanging out, I like listening to radio 95.7
Favorite Restaurant: Any Italian Food
Red Sox or Yankees: Yankees
Favorite Movie: Gladiator, The Blind Side and Shawshank Redemption
Favorite TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy
Plans for After High School: Swimming and Violin. I’m looking at southern California schools for college, like UC Santa Barbara or UC Irvine.