Berkley High sophomore Jack Hamilton competes in the 200-yard individual medley during the Division 2 state finals at Eastern Michigan University March 8. Hamilton won the state title in the 100 backstroke.

Berkley High sophomore Jack Hamilton competes in the 200-yard individual medley during the Division 2 state finals at Eastern Michigan University March 8. Hamilton won the state title in the 100 backstroke.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Berkley High swimmer takes home state title

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published March 18, 2019

 Hamilton is pictured at the Division 2 state finals. Hamilton said he has his “eyes set on the 2020 Olympic trials.”

Hamilton is pictured at the Division 2 state finals. Hamilton said he has his “eyes set on the 2020 Olympic trials.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

BERKLEY — When he was 10 years old, Berkley High sophomore Jack Hamilton planned to quit the sport of swimming.

Hamilton was swimming for a club team, and he was “not a fan” of the practices in the cold pool.

After his coach at the time was informed of his plan to quit, Hamilton said his coach told him to put everything he had into that season and finish on a high note.

Hamilton ended up qualifying for states in every event that year. He decided to stick with the sport.

Little did he know, just years later he’d be a state champion. Hamilton won the Division 2 title in the 100-yard backstroke March 9 at Eastern Michigan University. Hamilton finished in 50.51 seconds, which was nearly a full second faster than second place.

“That moment when I touched the wall and saw that I had won was just really an amazing feeling, with my entire team at the end of my lane cheering me on,” Hamilton said.  “It was just really, really amazing.”

Hamilton’s day also included a third-place finish in the 200 individual medley (1:51.80).

Since his accomplishments, it isn’t just the end results that Hamilton has thought about. He has also taken time to reflect on the journey that helped lead him to that point.

“It feels very relieving,” Hamilton said. “All the hard work and all the effort and the hours of training that you put in actually turning out, and you achieving your goal, is a really rewarding feeling.”

Becoming a state champion did not come the easy way for Hamilton. He said he trains seven to eight times a week for two hours a day, and sometimes four.

During summer break when he could be sleeping in, Hamilton has chosen to get up in the early hours of the morning to practice.

From his perspective, in order to be successful, swimmers need to put themselves through some of the “hardest training I think there is, day after day.”

“The physical and mental endurance to put yourself through all the hard training is a huge aspect of the sport,” Hamilton said. “It’s always fun to look back and think where I was a year ago or two years ago, and think about how much I’ve improved since then.”

Hamilton acknowledged the support he has received from his parents, coaches and teammates, and he might need plenty more of it in order to achieve another one of his aspirations.

“I really have my eyes set on the 2020 Olympic trials,” Hamilton said. “I don’t have my Olympic trials cut yet, but this summer that’s one of my biggest goals, is to get that time that’ll qualify me for the trials, so I have a chance to compete and make it to the Olympics.”