By Greg Bates
Name: Julia Gawryleski
Parents: Andrea and Greg Gawryleski
Julia has been swimming since she was 8 years old. Her teammates are a big reason she enjoys swimming so much. Swimming keeps her busy during the fall along with being in 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and National Honor Society.
What’s it about swimming that makes you concentrate it as your only sport?
“I really like the competition part of it. I also like having fun with my friends. It’s a good fitness and a good way to work out and still have fun.”
What events do you primarily swim?
“I’ve kind of been put all over the past few years. Last year, I qualified for state in the 100 backstroke, so I’ve been doing a lot of backstroke and 200 IM.”
Why is backstroke the event you’re really good at?
“To be honest, I’m not really sure. When I was little, I didn’t really swim it. But then on my high school team we needed backstroker, so I ended up being put in it and then working on it a lot, so that just made me improve a lot.”
What was it like to compete at state last year?
“It was really fun. I was super nervous, but I pretty much just had to go out there and swim and I really liked it. It was so cool because I’d worked so hard to get there that I was just really proud of myself.”
Competing at state as a junior, what does that push you as a senior to get back and place better?
“Definitely it’s going to push me really hard this year, because I want to make it back. I also made it my sophomore year in a relay and then last year in the 100 backstroke. So I’m hoping to make it back again this year, maybe in more than one event, I don’t know. It’s going to push me hard for sure.”
There’s a big difference going to state with a relay and going individually. What’s it do for you knowing you can get there individually?
“It kind of gave me a confidence boost that I know I can do it. And, I don’t necessarily have to rely on others, but I can do it. I did that myself, I guess.”
Do you swim for a club when the high school season is over?
“I do club swim throughout the winter and then this year I did a little club swim in the summer. I don’t typically do that, but I did that this year just to set myself up for the high school season to be in shape and be ready for that. I swam for Seymour’s swim club until this past high school season and then I joined the Mid-Wisconsin Wave Makers and I swam for them this past winter and summmer.”
Swimming with the Wave Makers, that’s probably high-level competition?
“Yeah, a lot of the kids are going D-I and it’s more of an elite level, I guess. It’s just really fun to be able to practice with them and see how they train and stuff.”
Is it your goal to swim in college?
“I’m not really sure. I think I’m going to want to focus on school, because I want to be a large animal vet. I don’t know if I’ll end up swimming in college or not.”
Do you know what your plans are yet for college next year?
“I’m debating between UW-Madison and UW-River Falls, because they both have very good large animal vet programs.”
Is it nice to know what you already want to do as a profession?
“It’s really nice, because I’ve already done some job shadows and I’ve taken a lot of classes in high school already that will set me up to be ready for next year in college, so that’s kind of nice. I guess even if being a large animal vet doesn’t work out, I still know it will be something with agriculture that I’ll want to do.”
Why do you want to be a large animal vet?
“I show animals through 4H and FFA and stuff, so I like working with cows and pigs and larger animals like that. Most people always want to be a vet for like dogs and cats, but I like working on the farm and working with farmers.”
Do you like to travel?
“Yes, I do, I like going on roadtrips and hiking and stuff like that, but I always like going to the beach and doing stuff like that.
What’s the coolest area you have visited?
“We did a road trip out west a few years ago with my extended family and we went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, and the mountains were just beautiful, I’d have to say that.”
What’s it’s like for you to see these natural wonders of the world?
“It’s just breathtaking. It’s unbelievable to see, I guess.”
What sports to you enjoy outside of swimming?
“Baseball and softball. I’ve played softball my whole life, so I love watching it and I like watching baseball, too. That’s probably one of my favorite sports to watch.”
What’s your favorite team?
“The Milwaukee Brewers, of course.”
What’s the most important thing in your life right now?
“Probably my family and swim, that’s pretty much my whole life.”
What’s a quote that has really stuck with you?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Boating or hunting?
“Boating, for sure. I love boating and water skiing and stuff and going up north.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“Going up north — my grandparents live on a lake, so I love going up there. I show pigs at the fair, so I like spending time with them and working them. Snowmobiling. I love snowmobiling. We snowmobile a lot in the winter, so that’s a big part of my life. And pretty much hanging out with friends, too.”
How long have you done 4-H and FFA for?
“I’ve done 4-H since I was in first grade, I think. Then I joined FFA my freshman year.”
What’s one thing teammates and coaches don’t know about you?
“That I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to swim. I’ve very hard on myself when it comes to swim. I like to do my best.”
One word that describes you?
“Motivated. I always love to do my best during swim.”
Favorite subject in school?
“Any science class. I like science classes.”
By Greg Bates