PHOENIX, Arizona, June 13. JACKIE Jesche is headed to the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials as a 14-year-old rookie, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show she talks about her expectations for the event.
Jeschke, who competes for Aiken-Augusta Swim League, relives the experience of dropping four seconds off her lifetime best to qualify for Trials in the 200 backstroke. She talks about the difference in race strategy that helped her squeak under the qualifying standard and how she's training to swim faster in Omaha. She also talks about the celebrity swimmer she'd like to meet in Omaha and the connection he has to her family. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Tiffany Elias: This is The Morning Swim Show for Thursday, June 14th 2012. I'm your host, Tiffany Elias, and today on the FINIS monitor we have one of our youngest guests in the history of The Morning Swim Show, Jackie Jeschke. Jackie is joining us from Augusta. Jackie thanks for joining us today on The Morning Swim Show.
Jackie Jeschke: Thanks for having me.
Tiffany Elias: All right, so the big news here is that you just qualified for Olympic Trials as a 14-year-old so congratulations, that's a big feat right there.
Jackie Jeschke: Thank you.
Tiffany Elias: All right, so the 200 backstroke let's walk that through that race because you had anticipated wanting to go under that Trials time but you made quite a big leap there from your previous best time. So let's go back to that race – you qualified just under Trials — 2:17.8 – which is about a tenth under that mark. So how did you feel going into your race?
Jackie Jeschke: Well during the prelims sessions I didn't do too well and I actually ended up gaining time, so during that afternoon I really had to visualize my race and I came back and I warmed up and I did pace before my race with my coach, and I ended up going 34.1, which was what I needed to hold. So then when I did my backstroke start for my race it's like everything just zoned out and I felt like I was on fire, like I was going and going. And my 100 split was only a second slower than my 100 back time so I was out pretty fast and then I held that speed for the 150 and in the last 50 I was kind of dying but everyone was getting really nervous but I really built into the finish and looked at the scoreboard and saw my time and made it.
Tiffany Elias: Now that was almost a four-second drop for you — your previous was a 2:21. So when you saw that 2:17 were you just completely shocked or did it feel like a 2:17?
Jackie Jeschke: I was a little bit shocked but then I also had this feeling like in my gut that I was going to get it, that I was going to achieve it because my coach told me to always believe in myself and have a lot of confidence in myself and that's what I did.
Tiffany Elias: Now we see that a lot when you look at splits. You mentioned your 100 was only a second off of your 100 individual race. Now we see that a lot in 200's. Is that common for you or did you take it out that much faster?
Jackie Jeschke: That's not really common for me. Usually I try and even split my races so going a second off on this 100 back time was a bit of a surprise. I think I might have taken it out a bit too fast but I'm glad I did.
Tiffany Elias: Do you think you have a little bit left in you for that 100 time? Do you think you can bring that down now that you know you can take a 200 out in that split?
Jackie Jeschke: Yes, I'm hoping so. I really hope I can maybe go – my 100 time's 1:05 so I'm hoping for a 1:04, 1:03 would be good, that's 100 back Trials time.
Tiffany Elias: Yes, that would be very good. So you actually jumped over Nationals. You haven't actually qualified for Nationals prior to this swim meet so you're going from Sectionals and that type of level of swimming all the way up to Trials. So how does that feel?
Jackie Jeschke: It feels pretty great. It was a big jump like skipping over Juniors and then Nationals and just going straight to Olympic Trials. But I've training hard and I'm glad it finally happened.
Tiffany Elias: Now do your friends understand what it means to qualify for Olympic Trials? When you tell your friends you're going off to Omaha do they even – can they comprehend how big of a deal that is?
Jackie Jeschke: My swimming friends, yes they can, they're really excited, but my school friends they don't really understand what's really happening and I have to explain what's going on. And they look like they get it but I know they don't really understand but I try my best to explain it to them.
Tiffany Elias: Yes, I can imagine they don't fully understand how big of a deal that is. Now heading off to Omaha will you have some family taking you all the way out there?
Jackie Jeschke: Yes, my whole family is coming and I think a lot of my extended family is going to. We went to this one family reunion and they're like “Oh you're swimming,” and I go “Oh yes, it's going good. I'm trying to get to Olympic Trials” and they're like “Oh if you're making it the whole family is going.” I was like “Oh man, okay.” And so my second cousins or whatever they barely know but they're all going, too.
Tiffany Elias: Well that will be a great support system for you to have out there. Now you also have I believe two teammates joining you so that's some more good support heading out to Omaha. Is that right?
Jackie Jeschke: Yes, I love having my teammates coming along. If my attitude is kind of getting a little bit negative they're always there to like cheer me up. I try to keep a very positive attitude but they always help me and push me along.
Tiffany Elias: So is there anybody you're really looking forward to seeing out there in Omaha?
Jackie Jeschke: Well I am looking forward to seeing Ryan Lochte because first of all he's from Florida and he went to the University of Florida, my favorite college, my dream college, I want to go there. And he's also a backstroker as well as a bunch of other things but then he doesn't seem so intense when he's racing. He's more of a laid back swimmer and that's how I like to look at myself – kind of laid back, not getting too worked up into swimming, like not overwhelming.
Tiffany Elias: So it's not just that he's good-looking is why you want to run into him out there?
Jackie Jeschke: No, that's not the only reason.
Tiffany Elias: Now you also mentioned both your parents went to Florida. Is that why it's your favorite school, one of the reasons?
Jackie Jeschke: That is one of the reasons but my family lives in Florida too so whenever I go down to visit I like to go to football games and stuff and I've kind of just grown up being a Florida girl.
Tiffany Elias: So looking ahead you're going to be a sophomore next year in high school. Are you already planning ahead to college? Is Florida going to be right up there on top of your list?
Jackie Jeschke: Yes, I have been looking at colleges and seeing which colleges might fit me. I've kind of come up with a list but yes, Florida is definitely high up there.
Tiffany Elias: All right, so going back to training, Trials cut is out of the way – what are you doing in between now and Omaha as we approach the last few weeks here?
Jackie Jeschke: Well since I only have about three weeks between my last meet and Omaha I'm really having training, like really, really hard training for about a week and a half and then I get to go back to tapering for the next week and a half before Trials so I'm well rested. Right now I'm really working hard and doing doubles every day swimming 23 hours a week.
Tiffany Elias: So how long do you think your taper will be for Trials?
Jackie Jeschke: Well the 200 back is the last day of Trials. I'm guessing it's probably just going to be two weeks, so maybe starting next week and then continuing during Trials is taking place I'll still be tapering then because I don't think I will be swimming. I'm going to time trial two events in the Olympic Trials.
Tiffany Elias: Which events will those be?
Jackie Jeschke: 100 back for sure and then my coach said he wanted me to do 400 freestyle.
Tiffany Elias: Great, well that should help keep your endurance levels up for that 200. Now also as we discussed earlier looking back through history Missy Franklin as I'm sure you're well aware of who she is as she's about to do some big things for USA, she qualified for Trials at 13 which was just a little bit younger than what you are now. So how does that feel knowing that you're following similar footsteps as to one of the best backstrokers for USA right now?
Jackie Jeschke: Well it feels amazing. I really want to follow in the footsteps of her – to make Olympic Trials so young and at a place so well doing it – it's definitely a goal to work towards and winning Nationals and 200 back recently I would really like to do that some day.
Tiffany Elias: All right Jackie we're definitely looking excited to watch you in Omaha so hopefully you get some good training here in the next couple of weeks and we'll see you out there.
Jackie Jeschke: Thank you.
Tiffany Elias: All right, we'll see you there.
Jackie Jeschke: Thanks.
Tiffany Elias: All right, well that's it for today's Morning Swim Show. I'm your host, Tiffany Elias, feel free to join us for conversations on Facebook at Facebook.com\swimmingworld or tweet us your comments @SwimmingWorld. Join us again for tomorrow's show.
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