STANWOOD — A senior at Stanwood High School, Jetlynn Hau said hours of early-morning swim practices and going to school with wet hair doesn’t keep her from loving the sport. The Bob Ross-loving 17-year-old hopes to swim in college after graduating this spring.
Question: So you’re a swimmer — what events do you do?
Answer: I’m a breaststroker, so I do the 100 and 200 breast. I do some IM (individual medley) as well.
Q: How long have you been swimming?
A: Competitively since I was 8, but I think I learned to swim when I was 2. My mom was scared of us drowning.
Q: You swim club as well as high school. How do you balance all that?
A: Definitely balancing it is a little tough. I have morning practices so I’ll do morning for club and afternoon with high school. I like it because I get in a ton of hours so I’m able to really prepare for districts and state.
Q: How many practices a week are you doing?
A: I try to make every single morning but I don’t always because it’s a little tough. I generally make about seven to eight and weightlift Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Q: So how often do you show up at school with wet hair?
A: Every day. When I go out of the pool into the cold air my hair feels like icicles. And it’s always frizzy during second period.
Q: And you have some records, right?
A: I have a school record in the 100 breast and I’m a part of some record relays, too.
Q: When did you break the 100 breast record?
A: Freshman year. Every year I try to break my own time again, so far I have.
Q: How do you keep from getting burnt out?
A: I absolutely love the sport. When I was younger I didn’t like it as much and my mom would make me go to practice, but now I’ve developed a respect for it. It takes that next level of dedication and motivation to push yourself to achieve greater times. … Being in the water feels right. Land sports, not as much.
Q: What do you like to do outside school and swimming? Do you have time for anything else?
A: I try my best to hang out with friends on weekends. I also work at my parent’s restaurant, Dragon Palace. I’m also involved in a lot of clubs at school.
Q: How do you balance all this?
A: Junior year was the roughest year trying to balance a lot of things going on in my life. Familywise, balancing that with school and swim and the pressure of the high school season. I really wanted to win state that year, so I really wanted to dedicate myself to athletics but didn’t want to let go of academics.
Q: What did you learn?
A: I have to stay really organized. And I’m not a conventional organizer. I don’t use a planner because then I forget to check it. I set alarms on my phone because I’m not the best at remembering everything. I talk with my teachers to make sure I’m not missing anything, or if I’m confused about anything. And sleep. Sleep is important. I definitely disregarded that last year and it wasn’t too fun.
Q: What do you want to do after high school?
A: I want to go to college and hopefully swim for the college I go to. I want to study something STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related, engineering or biology. I haven’t ruled out the medical field yet.
Q: What are you looking forward to about that experience?
A: I’m really excited for a new experience. I’m actually terrified but I feel like it would be a fun time and I’d like to continue swimming after high school. I want to see where I can go and I want to contribute to a team environment. I would love to feel that same energy wherever I go.
Q: What’s something people may not know about you?
A: I like to draw. I’m not a super bad drawer — I can do more than stick figures. … I also watch Bob Ross (the late American painter and art instructor) to fall asleep. He is an icon.
Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.