Growing up in the desert, Jakob Brandes and his sister, Kristina, always seemed to feel at home in the crisp, cool waters of a swimming pool. The two joined youth swim teams at an early age and soon transferred their love of the water into sports.
Kristina now plays water polo at Long Beach State and Jakob is one of the top performers on the Palm Springs swim team as a junior. He competes in the 100-yard breaststroke, the 4×100 medley relay and is still in CIF-SS consideration entering the final stretch of the season.
The Desert Sun caught up with him this week:
QUESTION: When did you decide to take up swimming?
ANSWER: It just started with me and my sister. Growing up here, we began swimming because it was hot outside, and it just started progressing from there.
So when did you join your first swim team?
Eight years ago.
What was your family’s reaction toward swimming?
They’ve been very supportive. They have followed the sport over the years, and have really gotten into it.
Have any of your friends taken up swimming?
Most of my close friends I’ve met through swimming, so it’s great because we pretty much all have that in common.
Who were the swimmers you’ve looked up to most?
I would probably say Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. … Because of what they’ve accomplished in the sport and how they’ve worked to reach the highest level.
How do you go about improving as a swimmer?
Each time I swim I just try to take a little bit off of my time. I set goals and then practice hard to reach them.
Do you have any plans to swim beyond high school?
Yeah. It would be great to swim in college if I get that opportunity.