By Murray Gleffe
Name: TJ Shaw
Activities: Boys’ swimming, cross country
Parents: Dave and Amy
TJ Shaw is a senior at Pulaski High School who’s had success in two sports.
As a junior on the boys’ swimming team, he placed 20th and 21st, respectively, in the 500- and 200-yard freestyle races at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division I State Meet.
In addition to his prowess in the pool, Shaw also qualified for state a few months ago in the WIAA Division 1 Cross Country Championships at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
He finished with a time of 17:23, good enough for 77th place.
Shaw said swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps are great role models, and their accomplishments in the pool are at the top of the line.
Talk about how difficult swimming relay events are.
“They’re difficult because the exchanges, from one swimmer to the next, need to be flawless. There are three different relay events in high school: The 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle.”
Do you wear a certain pair of goggles for swim meets?
“I have a pair of Speedo goggles for practices and a separate pair for meets.”
Talk about how special your family is.
“My family supports me very much, and I’m glad to have them at my meets.”
What’s your most embarrassing swimming moment?
“When I was a freshman, I competed in the 200 medley relay. I swam the backstroke, which is the first stroke. Afterward, we accidentally switched two people, and they swam the wrong stroke.”
What’s the greatest piece of advice somebody has told you?
“Don’t count the laps. Rather, make the laps count.”
What does a typical workout look like for you?
“I usually do between 7,000-8,000 yards with multiple sets, different strokes, kicks and lengths.”
What’s one thing you’d like to see changed?
“I’d love to see a new pool built at the high school for future swimmers. Right now, we can’t dive into the pool because it’s too shallow. A new pool would be amazing.”
What’s one thing other teammates or coaches don’t know about you?
“I’m a great climber. I often go to various locations.”
What are your college aspirations?
“To attend college and either run or swim.”
Which would you rather do – water polo or 10-meter diving?
If given the chance, how many swimming races could you do in one day?
“During a meet, we’re only allowed to compete in four races – two individual and two relays. After those competitions, I’m pooped. I’m not sure I’d be able to do anymore in one day.”
How do certain pools favor swimmers?
“Some pools are better than others because they’re colder. Colder typically means faster.”
What one word describes you?
What are your favorite music genres?
What makes the community of Pulaski special?
“We’re a small town, but it makes us who we are.”
Fruits or vegetables?
College team: Wisconsin
Ice cream: Cookies and Cream