An interview with Jason van der Touw

By Brian Hradek

Feb. 5, 2018

Cleveland State junior swimmer Jason van der Touw won Horizon League Swimmer of the Week on Jan. 16 for his performances in the school’s two meets that weekend – this is the second time he has won the award this season.

Van der Touw looks at the honor as a reminder that the results match the preparation he puts in.

“It’s a huge honor and accomplishment for me,” Van der Touw said in an interview. “Knowing that all those early morning practices, long hours of training and hard work are paying off and are not going unnoticed is a really great feeling.”

In the first meet over the weekend on Friday night against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Illinois-Chicago UIC, Van der Touw was a part of two different relay teams, the 400-medley relay and 200-free relay, that finished in first place. He was the anchor leg in each event for his team.

Van der Touw also competed in two individual events, winning the 200 free -- his specialty – by over a second, and then finishing runner up in the 500 free. He alternated between individual and relay events throughout the night and still had success.

Even though there’s not much of a difference for a swimmer individually between a relay and an individual race, Van der Touw still says there’s a bit of added pressure that comes into play.

“I definitely feel a bit more pressure when it comes to a relay event, which is not a bad thing,” Van der Touw said, regarding the differences between the two. “When swimming a relay with three of my teammates, I will always give 110 percent effort because there is no way that I am going to let them down.” \

In the quad dual on Saturday he went on to win two more events, the 100 backstroke and the 400-free relay. Not only was he a part of the winning team in the 400-free relay, he also posted the fastest split out of all 52 competing swimmers in the event.

He just missed out on another win, finishing runner up by 0.17 seconds in the 100 free. When going over his goals for the rest of the season, the 100 free was one the races he mentioned.

“A personal goal would be to improve on my 100-freestyle time and achieve a personal best in this event,” Van der Touw said. “Obviously, as a competitive swimmer, I always race to win but the 100 free is a new event for me since swimming in college and one I’ve been working hard on.”

Van der Touw also mentioned winning the 200 free and 500 free at the Horizon Conference Championships in Cleveland, coming up on Feb. 21-24, as a few other personal goals he would like to achieve.

Van der Touw and the swim team seem to peaking at the perfect time, with their biggest meets of the year right around the corner.




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