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By David Pan 

Jackson’s Cook looking to rewrite record books | Swimming


Last updated 1/20/2017 at Noon

Jackson’s Jonathan Cook has set some lofty goals for himself this season.

Successfully defending the two swimming titles he won at last year’s 4A state championships aren’t among them, though.

The reigning 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke champion is more focused on setting meet and state records.

If Cook wins two more state titles, that’ll be OK too.

There’s a good reason why the Wolfpack junior is more concerned about times.

“You don’t want to focus on place. You want to focus on time because your place is determined by what other people go,” Cook said. “What other people go varies wildly year by year … A singular time doesn’t change.”

Having a certain time as his goal makes Cook continually strive to improve.

“It keeps me really motivated because for me to be able to achieve that time, I have to practice constantly and practice hard,” Cook said.

Cook won the 200 individual medley in 1:49.55 last year. The 4A meet record is 1:49.30 by Mercer Island’s Andy Lloyd in 1988 and the state record is 1:47.60 by Lakeside’s Abraham Devine in 2014. Cook already is about 2/10th of a second off the meet record.

The Jackson standout will also take a shot at the 100 breaststroke meet record of 54.49 by Snohomish’s Garren Riechel in 2009. Cook won last year’s 100 breaststroke in 56.08. His best time this year is about 4/10th of a second off the meet record and 1 second off the meet record.

“What’s nice about my lineup is that the IM is at the beginning of the meet and the breaststroke is at the end of the meet,” he said. “So I can get mentally focused for both.”

Jackson coach Drew Whorley likes what he’s seen of Cook this season.

“He’s excited to do some fast swimming,” Whorley said, “He’s swimming with a lot of confidence, which as a coach is what you want to see.”

Being in the pool is second nature for Cook, who started swimming at the West Coast Aquatics Center in Mill Creek in 2007.

“Some of the friends I had on that team, when I was 7, I’m still swimming with now,” Cook said. “It’s part of the reason I stayed.”

Cook truly feels at home when he’s in the pool, but sometimes when it’s cold out, it takes him a while to actually get into the pool. He’ll often stick his toe in the water and fuss with his goggles.

“It’s really not fun to get in the pool, especially during the winter,” Cook said. “So I spend a lot of time getting ready to get in the pool and once I’m in the pool, I’m at peace. I feel calm.”


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