Athlete Spotlight: Jackson Kehler–5 Broken Pool Records


Donald Thai, Sports Writer

Five broken records. In a single year. 

Jackson Kehler turned his love for swimming in his lake and in his local community into a competitive career. Kehler joined his first competitive swim team, Riptide, in 7th grade and has not stopped since. While continuing to swim for Riptide, he immediately entered the high school team in his freshman year. Kehler thrives under the increased competition of the sport each year and loves meeting new people at the same time. Swimming has slowly become part of more and more of his life, swimming at least four hours per day and pursuing swimming at the University of Utah, a Pac-12 school. 

This year alone, Kehler has broken five pool records with one of them being a school record. His most memorable pool record included a 100m Butterfly at his last home meet of the season. “[This record] was the most memorable moment because of the significance behind it all,” Jackson explained to me. The record that he broke was previously held by Andrew Trepainer, a current swimmer at the University of Michigan. 

As Kehler told me about this record-breaking moment, he described to me his emotions: “It was really exciting before the race, and during the race. I couldn’t see the clock until the very end. But when I saw the clock, I was super excited and looked over at my teammates and everybody was cheering.” 

To prepare for each of the record-breaking opportunities, Kehler says that he has to think about these previous records before going into the race. He plans the night before, mentally determining the splits he needs to get to achieve each record. When it comes to being in the pool, his swimming technique all comes down to the fundamentals. He needs to have excellent turns, be fast underwater, and consider the quality of his strokes. “I need to do the things that I’m planning out,” Jackson told me. 

After asking about Jackson’s individual performances, I asked him about what he enjoyed about being a captain for this year’s team. “It’s been a lot of work,” Kehler mentioned to me truthfully, “but it’s been super rewarding. There’s a lot of new swimmers on the team, so giving them tips and tricks and seeing them improve is super rewarding.”

Once Kehler graduates college, he plans to swim in a Master’s league. The masters league is a place where swimmers can continue after graduating but not have quite the commitment of a professional swimmer. He hopes to continue to stay in shape and stick with his love for swimming.