Friday, 24 February 2017 16:47
Athlete of the Week: Blue Streaks’ Zac Zwijacz Heading to States
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Zac Zwijacz, a junior at Saratoga Springs High School, has been swimming his entire life, joining his first team at the YMCA when he was 5 years old, and he’s been with the Schenectady-Saratoga Sharks ever since. Currently, he is a co-captain on the Blue Streaks varsity swim team, and he just won sectionals and is heading to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships March 3 and 4 on Long Island. Blue Streaks Varsity Swim Team Coach Bill Asay couldn’t be more proud. The coach said the Blue Streaks have a young squad developing day by day, but Zwijacz qualified for the state meet with some of the top times. At the Section II Championship on Saturday, February 18, at Shenendehowa High School, Zwijacz won the 100 butterfly and made All-American consideration time, just a step below All-American nomination. “He’s been doing terrifically,” said Asay. “His goal is to get as deep into the state meet as possible. He went 50.1 on the butterfly and would like to get the sectional record of 49.55 seconds for 100 yards.” Zwijacz also swims the backstroke and freestyle, and is planning on swimming the 200 freestyle at states as well as the butterfly. “I feel pretty ready,” he said. “I know it’s more competitive and everyone’s a lot closer – it’s not like two seconds away from each other, everyone’s in that one-second range, very close.” Zwijacz said his biggest challenge over the years was gaining a work ethic. “It’s something I didn’t have when I was in eighth grade. When I was a freshman, I had a senior on my team who helped me build a work ethic, Alex Danielson. That’s something Bill said, that you couldn’t be based on raw talent alone, Alex showed it every day, worked hard every day. This year, I really pushed that and helped the younger guys on my team realize that as well.” Zwijacz said he is grateful for the support from his parents and sister, and the family sacrifices so he can get to practice and go to meets. He’s had a lot of support from his team and friends, too. This is his first year as a team captain, which he shares with co-captains Sam Mastroianni and Nate Marron. “The team we’re building up, we’re younger but getting a lot better and can definitely expect them to grow in the future. Some of them will make states. We also might send a relay team next year, which is something we’ve never had before so it would be really cool. Even if they are just swimming a 50 or 100, they are still helping the team. And since they are young, they’ll get a taste of what states will be like.” He’s thinking about majoring in business or management when he heads off to college, but is looking forward to another year with the Blue Streaks. “I used to be on a baseball team,” he said, “but I quit once I realized that swimming was my main sport. I kind of like the competitive atmosphere, how it’s a personal thing, you see yourself grow but you also see your teammates grow with you, which is really cool.” His coach is feeling good about next year, too, for the team and for Zwijacz. “His maturity level over the past two years changed immensely, from young boy to a pretty mature competitor, with high expectational goals that I personally don’t see why they wouldn’t be fulfilled,” Asay said.