Jonathan Schukai Dives into Swim Season

The Hawk’s Eye interviewed freshman Jonathan Schukai about his first year on East’s swim team.

Esther Rose, Co-Editor in Chief

Jonathan Schukai, freshman, joined Olathe East swim team this year. Already a swimmer for his summer team, he opened up about his experiences on East’s team so far.

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Schukai

“I think the practices are definitely a lot more than my summer league. [The summer team] is a lot more lenient,” Schukai said. He started swimming at eight years old. “I wanted to do East swim because I figured it was an easy way to continue to swim in the winter.”

Not only is Schukai a swimmer, but starting this year, he is a diver as well.

“I’ve only done random things off the diving board for years and years,” he said. “I’ve actually gotten good at some things, but probably with the worst form.”

His coaches are Dave Youker, swim coach, and Ryan Meeker, dive coach.

“[My coaches] have two sides. They want to get work done and be serious, and then there’s the side where they’re joking around and can be sarcastic,” Schukai said.

Olathe East competed in their first swim meet at the end of November.

“[Swim meets] go a lot quicker than you’d expect. Most meets I’ve done in the past have been five or six hours, but that one was more like two,” said Schukai.

“My specialty stroke is butterfly,” Schukai said. “I don’t necessarily have any special dive, but I am pretty good at back dives and back flips, things like that.”

Photo Courtesy of Corbin Kinsch

Other than swimming, there are many traditions the boys’ team has.

“An upperclassman has a conch shell that he blows whenever we’re doing relays. It sounds like an ocean liner. That’s something we always like to do. On the final relay, the 400 relay, everyone stands around the border [of the pool] and waves the flag. It’s a pirate skull flag,” Schukai said.



“BUTTERFLY is usually most people’s least favorite because it’s so tiring, but what I like about butterfly is that you don’t have to have long legs and long arms to do well like you do with freestyle and backstroke. Your arms are going at the same time. Whatever strength you have is what comes out of it.”

“BACKSTROKE I kind of like because it’s a combination of being able to always breathe, and freestyle, but you’re swinging your arms the other way.”

“BREASTSTROKE I just hate. My legs do not function like that. That’s just weird.”

“FREESTYLE is the most popular because it’s the fastest [stroke] in general.”