PHOENIX, Arizona, October 2. ON today's edition of The Morning Swim Show we meet Regis Jesuit High School senior Clark Smith, who's made a commitment to attend the University of Texas next fall.
With two parents who were All-Americans at Texas, Smith said the decision was pretty much made early in the recruiting process. Smith also talks about his success in the past year, including a junior national title, participation in the Olympic Trials and Colorado state titles. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor is someone you should be keeping your eyes out for in the butterfly events in the next 4 years. Clark Smith has had a great 2012 including a Junior National title in the 200 butterfly. Just a few days ago he made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Texas next fall and Clark joins us right now between classes at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado. Clark, good to see you, welcome to the show, how are you today?
Clark Smith: Good, how are you?
Jeff: Doing great. Thanks. So congratulations on choosing Texas.
Jeff: Now this is kind of I guess not an unusual situation for you. Both of your parents John Smith and Tori Trees both went to Texas, were All Americans there. So how much of an influence did they have on your decision?
Clark: Pretty big influence but they let me make my own decision overall or getting where I wanted to.
Jeff: So pretty much if you had chosen another school they said they would be okay with it?
Jeff: Well that is good. So why besides the fact that your parents went to school there, why did you choose Texas?
Clark: I like the city. I like Austin and I went on my recruiting trip there. The guys were really nice and I like the coach that is great. He has been around a long time.
Jeff: Yeah, he has been around so long. He coached your dad.
Jeff: And you are also senior there at Regis as we said. The boys team doesn't get all the same notice as the girl's team mostly because Missy Franklin is on the women's team but you guys are doing very well there. You just won your 17th State Title. You are going for your 18th next spring and you are also going for that 4th state title in the 100 fly, so my question is, when you are going into a meet where pretty much the team championship is pretty much already assured and your individual successes is already assured where does the motivation come from for you?
Clark: I guess times that everyone does nationally. A few guys that I tried to beat for out in the state like somewhere else.
Jeff: So who would you say either in the state or around the country your competition is in that 100 butterfly?
Clark: Probably, a guy named Joseph Schooling out of Bolles School Sharks. Trains with Ryan Murphy I think.
Jeff: Yeah he has done pretty well. You have been doing pretty well for yourself and I know you swim up there in Colorado where it is in the high altitude and in the 100 fly you don't get the altitude adjustment, but so does that kind of factor a little bit into kind of you know how you see your time stacked up against his?
Clark: I think U.S.A. swimming will convert to about the 10th but I am not really sure what the real conversion is.
Jeff: This year has been really good for you. As I mentioned you won Junior Nationals in the 200 fly, 1:58.6. You are also 1:51 I believe in the 200 free in Olympic trials in addition to the fact you were 47.7 in the 100 fly. What would you say has been the key for you having such a great year this year?
Clark: I couldn't say probably just genetics I am guessing.
Jeff: Well you are pretty tall too. I have seen you on deck you know how much have you grown in the past year?
Clark: I haven't grown much. I am just a little over 6'8'' now but I think I am done.
Jeff: 6'8'' is pretty tall. Nathan Adrian won an Olympic gold and he is almost 6'8''. Matt Grevers is 6'8''so when you step up on the blocks against other guys who – are you sure you already know that or at least believe that you have that advantage going for you?
Clark: Yeah, it is good enough motivation.
Jeff: Now, in addition to your high school goals as we said the team championship and your individual goals, what are your other goals in the pool?
Clark: Time wise or…?
Jeff: Yeah, time wise or if you have any other – any kind of swimming goals set out for yourself?
Clark: Well I mean I am probably the only person ranked top 10 in the nation who doesn't know how to kick so I got to fix that. We did about two at juniors off each wall so a lot to work on.
Jeff: Yeah, the butterfly definitely is becoming an underwater stroke and like I said you swim up in Colorado which is at altitude so do you think because you have less air up there in Colorado that is keeping you from being the great underwater butterflier that you want to be?
Clark: Maybe a little of that and because maybe a lack of something just kind of…
Jeff: I'm sure when you go to Texas Eddie will definitely get you to work on that a lot more.
Jeff: Well I will let you get back to class Clark. Thanks so much for joining us. What classes are you taking this semester?
Clark: A lot of social studies classes, government, economics, philosophy, psychology.
Jeff: Do you know what you might study as a major in college?
Clark: I am not really sure with my major would be right now.
Jeff: Well you got plenty of time. Most people don't pick until they are sophomore or junior year so no big rush. Well Clark, thanks for joining us today. Best of luck to you and your high school season this spring and further on down the road in Texas.
Clark: All right thanks.
Jeff: All right. That is Clark Smith joining us talking about his decision to attend the University of Texas and that is going to do it for today's show as always we invite you to join us on swimmingworld.com on Facebook or on Twitter to join in the conversation. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.
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