Athlete Spotlight: James Wood Swimmer Brian Baker



SwimmingPosted: February 11, 2014

James Wood High School 18-year-old senior

Sport: Swimming

Events: 200 and 100 freestyle

Parents: Christopher and Carolyn Baker

Hometown: Baker was born in Rochester, N.Y., before moving to Winchester when he was 2 years old.

What you love about swimming: I love the competition and the camaraderie of the sport. It’s really competitive, you just dive in and race and you know who the winner is when you finish.

Biggest strength and weakness in swimming: [Strength] is probably mid-distance. I enjoy the 200 free, it’s probably my favorite event. [Weakness] I probably need to work on my backstroke, it’s always been an issue for me. I’ve been improving on it, but it just hasn’t clicked yet.

Funniest person on the team: [Senior] Brian Lee because he’s always telling jokes and making sure everyone is having a good time on the team.

Most memorable moment in swimming: When I finally broke two minutes in the 200 free. I was 14 or 15 (as either a freshman or sophomore in high school) and it’d been a goal for awhile and I just decided that I was going to get it that day. I knew I had done it because I just had a really good race.

Favorite athlete: [Four-time Olympic gold medalist] Jason Lezak because in the Olympics [in Beijing] when he was racing in the freestyle relay you could tell that he was really fighting to win and I saw that and he’s just been my favorite athlete ever since.

Favorite team: Baltimore Ravens. They’re pretty local and they do well, they’re a good team to root for.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My grandfather, Norman Ramicone, because I knew him when I was younger and he taught me a lot about accountability and responsibility; [former United States Army Chief of Staff] General Douglas MacArthur because he was a great American general; [former king of the Greek kingdom of Macedon] Alexander the Great because he was also a military genius for his country.

Favorite quote: “Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” – Douglas MacArthur

Favorite place to eat in town: I’d go get some ground beef and go grilling at home, have some good family time.

Pregame routine/ritual: Goggles always have to be under the cap and I have to jump up and down before my race.

Plans after high school: I’ve applied to the service academies and I’ve applied for ROTC. I want to be an officer in the United States military and I plan on swimming at whichever college I end up attending.

— Compiled by Kevin Trudgeon




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