Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Jack Hazel wanted to take a trip to Europe this summer so on Saturday morning he set out for a long swim.
The 15-year-old Summerville High School student didn’t set out to do anything as ambitious as swimming across the Atlantic, but what he did in the Summerville Y Oakbrook Pool last weekend is still impressive and it has helped make his European vacation possible.
Hazel swam 10 miles, more than 644 laps, that morning and raised more than $500 through pledges people made for his swim-a-thon. He will put the money towards a school trip to Spain and Italy.
“Some people pledged a certain amount per mile and others just gave me a donation for doing it,” Hazel said. “I got the idea from a fundraiser for my school’s swim team. I swam four miles for that one.”
Hazel, a rising sophomore, has been a member of the SHS varsity swim team since his seventh-grade year. He is also a member of the Newington Tiger Sharks Swim Team.
In the fall, his time in the 200-meter freestyle event at the Region 8-AAAA Swim meet left him just shy of qualifying for the High School League state championships. He also swims the 50 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 butterfly events.
His original goal was to swim a half-marathon or 13 miles for the fundraiser, but after hours in the pool he realized he wasn’t going to make it. His mother suggested he try to last 10 miles.
“For the first four miles I was excited and doing fine,” Hazel said. “The next four miles were tougher and by the time I had reached the eighth mile I knew I couldn’t make 13. I’m just happy I was able to make it to 10. Completing those last two miles felt really good.”
It took him nearly five hours and 49 minutes to reach the 10-mile mark. He never left the pool during that time, but did take short breaks to eat after miles 4, 6 and 8. His parents used lap charts to record and verify each mile completed.
It was an exhausting day, but he says it was worth it.
“I’ve been to Alaska but I’ve never been to Europe,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the Vatican and the Roman Coliseum. We will start the trip in Madrid and then go to Italy.”
Hazel is also a member of the SHS Tennis Team.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com