WTOC High School Spotlight: John Mataxas - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC High School Spotlight: John Mataxas

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Ifyou want to talk about pruned hands, try spending five hours a day in a pool.

Jenkins High School's John Mataxas can tell you a little about that. The high school sophomore is Savannah'snew swimming sensation.

Hekicked the year off with a bang by busting a school record, 23.08 seconds inthe 50 meter freestyle.

"WhenI was told, I was ecstatic, and since then I have actually gotten faster," saidMataxas. "I'm just happy to do it and win."

Mataxashas been swimming for just four years, but as his coaches will tell you, he hasraw talent.

"Inthe past couple of years he has really taken off," said Coach Joe Whitt. "Hehas taken to the sport. Whereas before he was an athlete who swam, now he's aswimmer who also happens to be an athlete."

Arecord in the books isn't good enough. Mataxas just made two national cuts, meaningthat he is moving up the ranks.

Thenext big meet we will see him at will be the Junior Nationals in Clearwater, FL.

"Itmeans I get recognized by a lot more people, and I can get my name out therefor colleges hopefully in the future," said Mataxas. "It helped my training alot more."

Withthe help of Coach Whitt, the hope is to get an elite group of swimmers to thehighest level of competition.

"Ourgoal with him is, with every other swimmer on this team, is to allow them toget to the highest level that they want to achieve," said Whitt. "The groupthat he's training with now, our goal is to get that group to compete in theOlympic Trials in 2016."

Keepin mind that the 16-year-old is also responsible for a balancing act. While inand out of the pool and school, he is also focusing on earning a scholarship toswim at the college level.

"Trainhard day in and day out, and keep my mind set right for it," said Mataxas.

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