Jack Watson (‘19) commits to University of Pittsburgh for swimming


Courtesy of Andrew Maier ('20)

In his nearly decade-long involvement in competitive swimming, Watson has won several awards, including four all-conference titles.

Jack Watson (‘19) committed to the University of Pittsburgh for swimming on November 9 and signed on November 14. Watson has been an avid competitive member of the South Jersey Aquatics Club (SJAC) since he was nine years old. He also swims for Cherry Hill East, being a student athlete for all four years.

“My mom really loved swimming, so she kind of threw me in swim school pretty early… I developed a love for the sport at a young age,” Watson says.

Watson practices every day, and he has morning practices before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For East, Watson is a decorated swimmer, as he has won many awards.

“I’ve won four full-time all conference, two third-team South Jersey and one third-team all-state,” said Watson.
Watson is a well-rounded swimmer, as he does a little bit of everything. He has many favorite strokes, but he excels at backstroke.

“[If] I had to choose one, it would definitely be backstroke” Watson said.

His teammate, JT Funari (‘19), thinks Watson is an all-around swimmer.

Funari said, “Watson brings an all around positive attitude to the team. He is the most dynamic swimmer on the team and his ability to swim wherever he is needed is a big reason why we have been to the state championship each of the last three years.”

Originally, Watson was committed to New York University. Watson’s coach had contacted the Pittsburgh coach, who reached out to Watson.

“I ended up taking a recruiting trip down on campus there, and I just kind of fell in love with it, I knew it was the right place for me,” Watson said.

He loved the great relationship between the players and the coaches.

“They treated me very nice down there and they took me out to dinner. I felt like I have known them for years, so I felt like that was the real decision maker,” Watson said.

“The people I [swim] with make it enjoyable… Over the years I’ve made some of my best friends from swimming,” Watson said.

An example of one of the best friends he has made from swimming is Jackson Brookover (‘20).

Brookover notes how Watson is a true player’s player.

“[Watson] will always be [an East] swimmer… He will put anything on the line for us,” Brookover said.

Although Watson’s achievements have been rewarding, he does not anticipate swimming after graduating college.

“I doubt that I’ll swim competitively after college… but I’ll do it for fun because it’s such a big part of me,” Watson said.

Watson is interested in majoring in chemistry, or something in that field of science. The University of Pittsburgh is ranked among the top 100 in the country. So, he impresses people not only in the pool but also in the classroom.

Watson influences all of the other swimmers around him, and he always put everyone else before himself.

Watson is a truly dedicated athlete who tries to better the team whenever he can.

Alex Volin (‘20), one of Watson’s teammates said, “Watson improves the team and displays his dedication in the practices he has put in through senior year.”

Watson can’t wait to start swimming for the Panthers next year.