The Pioneer junior was named Boys Swimmer of the Meet at the recent PIAA 3A Swimming and Diving Championships after winning a gold medal in both the boys 100 breast (PR 53.92) and 200 IM (1:46.94), and leading off the first-place 400 free relay (3:04.51). He was the first Conestoga swimmer to be named Boys Swimmer of the Meet at States since Brendan Burns in 2019. “Jake gave a phenomenal effort, he left no business unfinished,” said Conestoga boys swimming coach Mark Tirone. Wang also finished first in the 100 breast and 200 IM at the PIAA District 1 3A Championships. As a sophomore, he was named Boys Swimmer of the Meet at Districts. Outside of the pool at Conestoga, Wang belongs to the school’s Asian American Culture Club and plays the piano.
Q: What were the biggest keys to your performance at States?
A: For my 200 IM, the most important aspect of my swim was definitely going faster in backstroke and hanging on as much as possible in the freestyle. I really focused in on utilizing my underwaters as much as possible so I didn’t use so much energy on swimming.
Q: What do you think was your strongest swim at States?
A: My strongest swim was definitely my 200 IM. I was not expecting to go nearly as fast as I did and it was super exciting when I did go 1:46.
Q: What aspect of your swimming have you worked on most recently?
A: I have definitely worked on my backstroke the most. Making sure that my stroke is as efficient as possible and maximizing the rate at which I spin my arms was extremely important for me to go fast in the 200 IM. In the 100 breast, I continued to work on my back half speed and speed up near the end.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive swimming. What swimming accomplishment outside of Conestoga are you most proud of?
A: I started competitive swimming when I was 6 back in the Lionville Community YMCA and then moving to Suburban Swim Club when I was 10, which is where I still swim today. My proudest accomplishment outside of Conestoga would be breaking many club team records and making high level cuts like Summer Junior Nationals and NCSAs.
Q: Who have been your most valuable swimming mentors, and what were the most important things you learned from each of them?
A: My most valuable swimming mentor would definitely be Suburban Swim Club coach Charlie Kennedy, who has coached me for a long time and shaped me into the swimmer I am today. My parents also greatly inspire me, figuring out my game plans for my swims and calculating ideal splits for me before every meet. The one thing in common with both of them is that they’ve taught me never to lose hope and to stay strong and do my best.
Q: What is your favorite swimming venue, and why?
A: My favorite swimming venue would be the location of Suburban Swim Club’s midseason championship, the University of Maryland’s College Park pool. I have so many great memories from meets there and I’ve had many great swims there.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-meet preparation on the day of a meet.
A: I am usually the quiet type when it comes before my swims. I’m not loud or disruptive before I swim, as I usually am trying to find my zen and calm. I enjoy listening to music and getting hyped on the inside, just not expressing any of it. I find myself often in a state of “calm before the storm,” the storm being the race and the calm being the pre-meet ritual. Other than the mental aspects, I try my best to feel as loose as possible, getting rid of as many sore spots as possible that still may be around my muscles.
Q: What is your favorite academic course at Conestoga? What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite courses are my math courses and history courses. I’d like to major in either something in finance or law. I am interested in something in the finance world or being a lawyer.
Fun facts – Jake Wang
Favorite book: Maze Runner by James Dashner.
Favorite author: James Dashner.
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite movie: 1917.
Favorite athlete: James Harden.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: Till I Collapse.
Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.
Favorite place to visit: Hawaii.
Favorite pre-meet meal: Chicken parm.
(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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