There’s more to swimming than just being successful for 11-year-old Jane Garlock.
“She has always come to swimming with not taking herself too seriously, just here to have fun, and I think that is one of the best things about Jane,” Middleton assistant coach Hannah Andryk said Friday at the All-City Meet at Goodman Pool. “She is here to have fun to support her friends, and good swimming comes along with that.”
Garlock was part of Middleton’s 200-meter medley relay team that took first place in the preliminaries, a time that set the Goodman record and came within three seconds of breaking the All-City record. She also was on the Gators’ 200 freestyle relay team whose first place in prelims set a Goodman record.
Not to mention her second-place finish in the 50 freestyle and fourth place in the 50 backstroke prelims.
Garlock learned to swim when she was around 2 years old and began swimming competitively in the All-City League at age 5. She started out just enjoying being in the water each summer with her family.
“My grandparents live on a lake and my other grandparents live by the Mississippi River, so I was just in the water all the time and it was really fun to swim,” Garlock said.
Although Garlock has always had the stereotypical swimmer’s body and plenty of experience in the water, she still had to develop her technique.
“With how tall of a body she has, it’s a lot to grow into that and know how to swim competitively with such height compared to her competitors,” Andryk said. “She’s gotten so much better at being a technical swimmer and working the little elements of her race like her breakout, her start, her turns, making sure she’s not breathing every stroke.”
She spends most of her down time at All-City standing beside the pool loudly cheering on her teammates.
“She is very much here for her friends, here for anybody on the team,” Andryk said. “She brings the energy, and I think a lot of other people when they are really nervous Jane is there to be goofy and to make sure that they are having fun.”
Nerves play a role for Garlock as well but in a good way.
“My parents think I go faster when I am nervous which is true, I guess,” Garlock said. “My first meet I was really nervous and then I went my fastest and then this (current) meet I went my fastest, too, because I was nervous.”
Garlock played an integral role in her favorite All-City memory — Middleton’s title in 2018, which culminated with the tradition of the winners jumping in the pool.
“I remember that my cousin and my sister, they didn’t make it to finals, but they came to watch me, and they were in their clothes but they jumped in anyway,” Garlock said.