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

WTOC High School Spotlight: John Mataxas

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

If you 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's new swimming sensation.

He kicked the year off with a bang by busting a school record, 23.08 seconds in the 50 meter freestyle.

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

Mataxas has been swimming for just four years, but as his coaches will tell you, he has raw talent.

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

A record in the books isn't good enough. Mataxas just made two national cuts, meaning that he is moving up the ranks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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