Just Keep Swimming!

Miguel Lemus, Staff Writer

Unsure of what swimming would lead him to, junior Jonnathan Gonzalez joined the Gables Swimming team his freshman year and has developed a strong passion for the sport. He was inspired to start swimming in order to follow his father’s footsteps, who was once a professional swimmer in Cuba. Gonzalez’s goal this season was to work even harder than he did before in order to have a better season than last year. As a result, the team performed beyond their expectations after starting off the season undefeated.

When Gonzalez is not training or swimming, he is actively involved throughout the student body. He is currently part of the Academy of Finance and the Interact club. Outside of the school environment, he actively receives piano lessons to polish his skills that have been improving for almost nine years. In order to balance his academics with athletics, he usually tries to finish his work the moment he receives it in order to make time for his training and family. Due to his hard work and dedication, Gonzalez was able to maximize his potential this year on the swimming team. He originally joined the team in hopes of meeting new people, but the experience has given him an opportunity to further pursue his love for swimming once he graduates high school.

Jonnathan Gonzalez
Junior Jonnathan Gonzalez swimming to success.

Were you on the swimming team previously and, if you were, for how long?

I have been on the swimming team since summer of freshman year.

What inspired you to start swimming?

My father was a professional swimmer in Cuba. I guess I just wanted to follow in his footsteps and see where it led me. Now, I am also looking towards a college scholarship with swimming.

What does your training consist of?

Well, it consists of an hour of dry land from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. and then we head to the pool from 6 p.m-8 p.m., usually working different strokes depending on the day. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we do breaststroke sets, usually 8 to 12 of them. Then, we do 200 breaststrokes on 3:30 work and rest periods to go along with our normal warm-up and a freestyle main set consisting of 200s and 100s. After the breaststroke main set, we usually do sprints and finish up with a 200.

Are you involved in any other extracurricular activities?

Yes, I am. Other than swimming, I have been playing piano for nine years and have private lessons. I also play guitar and am part of other extracurricular clubs at our school, like Interact.

What’s your favorite thing about being part of the swimming team?

Definitely my favorite thing about being on the swimming team is the diversity we have. We have club swimmers with experience and then swimmers that are learning, and it’s just a great experience being able to teach them and be able to interact with all of them. We have all become a huge family not only in the pool but outside the pool as well.

How do you balance your athletics with academics?

Balancing academics with athletics is a little tough. I usually get home right around 2:40 p.m.and get to work right away to try and get as much finished before 4:30 p.m., when I start heading towards practice. After practice, I come back home, shower, eat, and then keep working on my work until around 12 in the morning depending on how much work I have. On the weekends, I usually try and finish it on Friday to at least be able to have the weekend free with friends and family.

What were your goals for the season?

Well, my goals for this season were definitely to achieve personal bests all around and to try to guide our team to an even better season than last year. All around, I think we did a good job. We started off undefeated for the first time ever and I think we finished 7-1 or 6-2. I am not entirely sure, but it was definitely one of our best seasons since my time on the team. We got district runner-ups for the third time in as many years.

What is one of the best moments that you have experienced with your team?

Regionals competitions during freshman year were definitely my best moments with the team. It was in Boca Ratón and, on our way there, we had a speaker and we were all jamming out on the bus together as a team. It was just incredible and I’ll never forget it.

What did you achieve this season?

I did achieve personal bests and new times for myself. I was very excited and met new swimmers that I was able to teach and give tips to and made new friends as well in the process.