Haverford School swimmer Alex Boratto is Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week

The Haverford School senior and second-year captain holds 15 school swimming records. A two-time Delco Swimmer of the Year, he has been selected All-Delco, All-Inter-Ac and All-Main Line for four consecutive years. A 10-time (potentially 12-time) All American, the Stanford University-bound senior holds the US National Prep high school record in the 100-meter backstroke. He is a nine-time Easterns individual swimming champion, and was undefeated in all dual meet races this season, as well as playing a key role in the Fords’ second consecutive Inter-Ac championship. Outside of the pool, he is a co-founder of the Chinese Club at Haverford School.

Q: You hold 15 Haverford School swimming records. Which one means the most to you, and why?

A: Probably the swim record that means the most to me is the Independent School record in the 100 meter backstroke SCM. I broke the record at my last high school meet at The Haverford School. Achieving that record at my last meet meet was a pretty special. This record is very special to me because it is a reflection of the culmination of hard work I have put in through the years.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the key to your performance that day? What is your most vivid memory of the event?

A: Not being rested or shaved for this meet I feel like the biggest key to my performance was my teammates. Seeing them all at the end of the pool cheering loud for me got me pumped up to be able to go out fast in my first 50, which is where I usually struggle, and to bring home my race with speed. My most vivid memory of the event was finishing the race and just hearing the crowd and my teammates erupt with cheers. I didn’t even have to look at the board to know that I broke the record.

Q: What was your favorite memory of Easterns this past weekend? Can you share it with us?

A: My favorite memory at Easterns was the 400 freestyle relay final. We all knew the meet came down to that race and to finish first in the relay (first time in Haverford School history) ahead of the reigning champs (Peddie) and see all my teammates at the end of the pool and coaches crying tears of joy cheering and going crazy was the best possible ending I could have imagined for my high school career.

Q: As a two-year captain, what did it mean to you for Haverford School last year to win its first Inter-Ac title since before World War II, and this year to win the Easterns title? How did you view your leadership role as captain this season?

A: Ever since I came to The Haverford School the program has been on the rise. It started seven years ago when the program placed in the top six at Easterns for the first time and kept building on from there. The crescendo continued with achieving a first individual win at Easterns and progressed to winning the Inter-Ac last year for the first time in 74 years. We came close a couple of times, but came up short. Once we were able to achieve that, we knew Easterns was the next goal. I am so glad we were able to achieve it during my senior year and I can leave the program at the top. As a captain, I tried to lead in the pool by working hard and setting an example, and mentoring the younger guys like the older guys that came before did for me.

Q: Can you walk us through a typical day, or cycle, of training?

A: A typical day of training for me starts with a 5 a.m. alarm to get ready for my 5:30-7 a.m. practice. After morning practice I go to school and at the end of the day I have another practice from 3:30-5:30 p.m. After practice I go home, eat dinner and do my homework.  That is Monday through Friday, and then we have a four-hour practice on Saturday.

Q: What aspect of your swimming have you been working on the most recently?

A: I have been working on the underwater portion and start of my races, trying to be able to fly kick faster and farther underwater to improve my races. Underwater is where I can improve the most, so I have made it a priority to improve on my weaknesses.

Q: What pool did you first swim for? What is your favorite swimming venue, and why?

A: The first pool that I swam in was at Cedarbrook Country Club under head coach Charlie Brown. That was during the summer for the Country Club league. My favorite swimming venue is the Omaha Olympic Trials pool. Competing there for a spot on the Olympic team was a phenomenal experience and the atmosphere was electric.

Q: Who have been your biggest swimming mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?

A: I have been a member of The Haverford School swim team since I started middle school. My mentors include Sean Hansen who has been the head coach since the beginning; Brendan Jones, who has helped me with my technique over the years; and Andrew Helber (Class of 2012), who was a student when I was here and now is an assistant coach, and has mentored me through the years.

Q: Tell us a little about your pre-meet preparation the day of a meet.

A: On meet day I like to wake up a little bit earlier than usual so that I can eat a big breakfast, get my head in the right spot mentally, and start stretching. I like to show up to the pool early and get in a long warm-up feeling good and getting ready for my race. I also like to listen to music before my race as it gets me pumped for my race.

Q: What would you like to major in at Stanford? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?

A: Currently I am thinking about majoring in computer science and maybe minoring in Chinese to build on the four years of Chinese I have taken at Haverford.

Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Haverford School?

A: I played varsity water polo for three year and rowed crew for one year. In addition, during the rest of the year, I swim for my US club, which is Upper Dublin Aquatic Club. Through both The Haverford School and my US club, I have participated in various service projects where I have had the chance to give back to the community. I also co-founded the Chinese Club at Haverford School.

Fun facts – Alex Boratto

Favorite book: The Hunger Games.

Favorite author: Dr. William Ehrhart.

Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones.

Favorite movie: The Godfather.

Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan.

Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: Sideline watching – Lil Uzi Vert.

Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.

Favorite place to visit: Milan, Italy.

Favorite pre-meet meal: Chicken parm.

Person I most admire: “The person I admire most is Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol, world record holder in the 200 backstroke. I had the chance to meet Aaron when I was 10 years old at a swim clinic and being a backstroker and meeting the man who is considered the best backstroke of all time has always inspired me to push myself to one day be like him.”

Family members: parents Alfredo and Eva Boratto, sister Emma, brother Evan, and Jessie (dog).

(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)


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