General of the Week: John Womack

Sophomore John Womack was key in Men’s Swimming’s 142-120 win against Mary Washington on Oct. 17 at Cy Twombly Pool. Womack won both the 200 meter freestyle and the 500 meter free with personal bests of 1:46.94 and 4:58.44, respectively. He was also part of the winning 4×50 meter relay team.

Mac Trammell

How did you start swimming?

JW: I have a tracking problem with my eyes, so I couldn’t do any other sport. And so my mom said, “You know… let’s make him swim.”

Why did you choose to swim for W&L?

JW: I wanted to go as far away from home [Arizona] as possible. I was originally looking into the Naval Academy, except I broke my feet.

 

How did that happen?

JW: I jumped out of a tree. I’m not meant for land. So I wasn’t able to complete the fitness assessment [for the Naval Academy], but I still had already applied to W&L. And I kind of had my mind set on the east coast after the Naval Academy, so, you know, I thought “this one’s also good.”

 

How does the season look?

JW: The first invitational we went to in Kentucky, we won. This past meet we won. I know very little about east coast schools, so I don’t really know what we’re up against. But I know in both [previous meets] either we controlled the events or we realized there was a chance we might lose the event, pepped each other up for it, and then won the event. It seemed like regardless of the situation we’ve been able to get ourselves up and going to be successful.

 

What kind of goals have you set for yourself this season?

JW: We have Tommy [Thetford], a freshman who’s a really fast 50 freestyler. And last year I primarily swam 50 freestyle, so my goal is to catch up to him. Now coach put me in the 200 and 500 this past weekend, which was pretty new, and I had pretty successful swims. So now I guess the goal is to figure out how to swim those events.

 

If you could choose to play another sport for W&L which one would you choose and why?

JW: Do I have to play another sport?

 

I suppose not.

JW: I started swimming in third grade, and my family has always been centered around water sports. So I’ve always been attracted to swimming. If it has water, it’s automatically better to me. Probably running would be second just because it’s also racing.

 

What’s your opinion of Michael Phelps right now?

JW: With the second drug offense, not that I condone or support his behavior, I do understand the occasional need to de-stress—though I hope he would have done something different.

Your best times were this past weekend. Would you consider those your most memorable races?

JW: No. The relay was. That relay, combined with the relay the weekend prior, were days when our relay team just… there was emotion and excitement and enthusiasm and support that I had really never felt before. The biggest [individual] race, though, was a while back. I did a 100 backstroke long course. And I pretty much blacked out after my race. It’s nice in racing to get immediate feedback that you physically could not have done any more.