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September 26, 2022

Hatch making national waves with Makos

When Jarod Hatch was younger, he never wanted to do swimming as a sport.
When he started competing in swimming, he never wanted to do distance races.
He was wrong on both counts.
The Sobrato freshman is one of the best distance swimmers in the country.
“My first swim practice, I had an asthma attack, so it wasn’t a very good impression for me,” Hatch said. “But my mom and dad forced me to keep doing it and I’m actually happy they did.”
He holds the third fastest time in the United States in the 1,000 freestyle among 14 year olds this year in the short course season. Hatch is 5 seconds off the pace for best this year and was bumped out of second place on Saturday when a Florida swimmer bested him by a second and a half.
“I never thought I’d be swimming, to be honest. I would have thought I’d have quit by now and keep playing baseball,” Hatch said.
This year, he’s also the No. 9 swimmer in the 500 freestyle, according to USA Swim, which lists the top times from across the United States for the 2013/14 season. He was recently bumped out of No. 20 in the United States in the 400 individual medly.
“He’s an athlete who has a rare talent,” said Makos swim coach Tom Lebherz.
Even after Hatch got over his anxiety of swimming, he still had to get force himself to accept he’s a good distance swimmer.
Hatch said with his asthma, it was difficult to mentally get over the hurdle.
“You can’t be thinking ‘I can’t do this,” because if you think that, you’re obviously not going to do it or not do it as well as you could,” Hatch said. “Swimming is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical for me.”
Hatch built himself up over time, having to learn how to pace himself early in a race so he can go full tilt at the end. Hatch said his coaches want him to lower his split times after each lap during a distance race.
Since he stuck with it, Hatch is a rising star and will be going to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs in January.
“He’s on the ground floor of making it to junior nationals, senior nationals, which leads to the Olympic trials,” Lebherz said. “He has the potential to be that good. I’ve been doing this for 35/40 years and he’s one of the better swimmers that I’ve really trained and I’ve had some good ones.”
Lebherz said Hatch has some raw talent that is still being refined to get him into a world class athlete.
“He’s not a flash in the pan. He’s a kid who this is all happening to him over the last two years,” Lebherz said.
Hatch will be competing at the Junior Olympics held at the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center before he moves on to Colorado Springs for a week of training.
The Junior Olympics could qualify him for the Grand Prix January in Austin.

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