OIA Freestyle Star Urbano Ready For State Swim Tourney

Fresh off a record-setting showing at the OIA finals, Mustang Jacob Urbano next sets his sights on making an impact at this weekend’s state Swimming and Diving Championships.

Urbano set a new OIA record in the 200 freestyle by logging a time of 1:42.67. He already is the defending state champion in the 200 free entering the state races, having placed first last February with 1:40.52.

And he’s right on schedule with his training. “Right now, I’m where I’m supposed to be,” said Urbano, who also will compete in the 500 freestyle this weekend. “The high school state meet is one of the biggest events, and I’ve been pretty happy with the times I’ve been swimming. I think I’m at a good place (training-wise).”

Urbano recently took some time away from the pool to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I was about 4, I was playing soccer and was a goalie. I sat on my butt and pulled grass waiting until there was something to do.

What’s been the most rewarding for you about competitive swimming? The opportunities I’ve been given and the people I’ve met. I met most of my best friends through swimming, and I’ve gotten to travel to places all over the world.

What areas of swimming did you focus on during the off-season and on your own time? My technique. I believe technique is the most important part of swimming. Over the summer and in the early fall, I did a lot of training on perfecting my strokes.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My parents, Rodney and Jenny Urbano, and my older sister Rachel. They’re all very supportive. My parents always wanted me to do the best that I can and pushed me. My sister has always been very encouraging.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? It used to be Facebook, but I find it boring now. I go to YouTube a lot and ESPN.com as well.

What is your least favorite household chore? Folding laundry. I don’t like folding laundry – especially other people’s.

What movie could you watch over and over? Rush Hour II.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? A couple of days before a race, I’ve already envisioned it. I try to be as relaxed and loose as I can. If I’m really excited, I’ll put some sort of Pandora station on to get myself a little pumped up.

What’s in your iPod? I have everything from Kanye West to Taylor Swift. I have country, pop, rap, hiphop and international music. I even have some Justin Bieber.

How do you like to spend your free time? I play both the piano and the guitar. I see my team-mates six or seven days a week, and I spend most of my free time with them. It’s my senior year, and we’ll all be moving on (to college), so I want to spend as much time with my friends as I can. I also like to nap a lot.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you choose as your prom date? (Actresses) Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence. It would be really hard to decide between the two of them, so I just might have to take them both.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Philly Cheesesteaks.