TOWSON, Md. — Jack Saunderson very well could be the best swimmer ever at Towson University.
“He’s got a great feel for the water and he’s worked really hard to get to the point where he is,” said Towson swim coach Jake Shrum.
“There’s a lot of history behind Towson swimming,” said Saunderson. “There’s Aaron Krause. There’s Dominic Breschi. I like to compare myself as among one of them.”
This Tigers talent isn’t like the rest in or out of the pool.
“I’m a lot different than all those big, competitive guys. I’m more just laid back, try to be more relaxed,” said Saunderson. “I’m really just kind of oblivious.”
But not in the water. The senior from Laurel has set numerous records at Towson and the 2017 and 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Outstanding Swimmer is looking for more.
He’s a favorite competing in the CAA conference meet, which runs Wednesday through Saturday in Christianburg, Va.
“I do want to do well, try to better my times, better my records, try to drop it a little bit more,” he said.
His best stroke is butterfly. Last year he set CAA meet records in the 100 and 200-yard fly, as well as the 200-yard individual medley.
As he wraps up his collegiate career he’s just starting to push off internationally. He’s been selected as one of 52 swimmers to represent the United States at this year’s World University Games in Naples, Italy.
“It’s amazing. I can’t wait. Never been outside of the country before,” said Saunderson.
The greatest accomplishment for any swimmer is still within that butterfly reach for Saunderson - a spot on Team USA for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.
“It would mean a lot. It’s like every swimmer’s dream just to be a part of the nationals and I can’t wait to just even have some type of influence on the swimming world,” he said.
“You really have to be at the right level at the right moment to make the Olympic team,” added Shrum. “He’s got as good of a shot as anybody.”
A good shot to turn this Tiger’s stripes gold.