Diving into the mindset of a swimmer

Jackson Stout holding the 3rd place MSHSL Class AA Boys Swimming and Diving Award

Jackson Stout holding the 3rd place MSHSL Class AA Boys Swimming and Diving Award

His goggles and swim cap hugged his eyes and head. The water rippled as the splashing of water came closer and closer. As he dove into the water, he started swimming with so much passion you would have never thought that this was once a boy who hated the sport.  


Jackson, a senior in high school, grew up in a sports-filled family and that meant having to participate in at least one sport as a kid. Jackson tried almost every sport in the book — baseball, tennis, and basketball. 


After striking out on all of those activities, Jackson felt as though he didn’t want anything to do with sports anymore.  


“When things started to get competitive, I would lose interest,” Jackson said. 


After many trials and errors, he took on swimming.


 Jackson started swimming at the age of 9, but he still wasn’t fully convinced that swimming was the right fit for him.


“My mom would oftentimes have to drag me to the car and make me go,” Jackson said.  


The lack of interest Jackson had for swimming carried on into eighth grade when he joined the high school swim team. “The first year I started swimming at the high school it was so different from club. I couldn’t wrap my head around everything because everything was completely different,” Jackson said. 


“It all really came back to what would I do instead. Would I miss it? Is it worth it?” Jackson said. 


His choice to continue swimming was not decided by himself, but it took the encouragement of his parents — mostly his mom, Michelle Stout. 


“My mom was definitely my biggest supporter through all of this,” Jackson said. 


Jackson always felt encouragement from his mom, even at times when he wanted to quit.


Thanks to Jackson’s perseverance and his mom’s encouragement, he ended up staying on the team and even ended up going to state for his senior year of high school. 


Jackson had no idea that he was going to make the state roster, so when Bollinger, one of his coaches, told the team, Jackson was in shock.  


“One day at practice Bollinger told us to not worry about the 200 free relay because we’ve already gotten the state cut a few times this year,” Jackson said. 


On top of qualifying for state, he and his relay team, consisting of Owen Dwyer, Victor Trinh, and Kaiden Cheung, set the new school record for the 200 freestyle relay.


“I have been wanting to break a school record since I was a freshman, and now our names will be up on the board,” Jackson said. 


Being a senior and going to state for his last year of swimming is a huge accomplishment and Jackson said, “This is a moment that will forever live in my head rent-free.” 


“There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘M’ and an ‘E’,” said Jackson. His sarcastic and bubbly personality is what people admire about him most on the team. 


“As he became an upperclassman I think he always brings a good positive energy, has fun, cracks jokes, and keeps people entertained during those grueling swimming workouts,”  Jackson’s mom Michelle said. 


Despite the many ups and downs he faced on this path to find his sport, Jackson became a successful swimmer who helped his team get 3rd in state, set a new school record, and impacted many lives along the way.