In only his second year of competing at the state high school swimming championships, Richmond Hill High School representative Kaleb Jenkins scored enough points for the school to finish 20th out of over 100 high schools.
Overcoming an early season injury that could have quite easily precluded his even qualifying for the meet, the senior finished third in both the 100 Fly and the 100 Back.
"After breaking an elbow at the beginning of the season we were just hoping he’d be able to swim again", said Pat Paruso, his high school coach. "We had to scramble to find a couple of meets in January so he could qualify for state."
Jenkins swam a 51.18 lifetime best in the 100 Fly in prelims just getting edged out by Miller Douglas of Westminster by 2/100ths of a second for the top spot going into finals. In finals, Jenkins went out strong but a tough third turn cost him the race and he finished third with a 51.67 and an All-American consideration time. Jenkins came back later in the evening in the 100 Back. Seeded fifth, Jenkins came up out of the last turn and charged to the wall to finish third with a lifetime best of 52.93 and another All-American consideration time.
"It felt good to come back in my backstroke, after the 100 Fly," Jenkins said. "It’s the first time this season that I felt like I could grab the water and swim."
Jenkins trains with the Savannah Swim Team and will be attending the Air Force Academy next year – where he intends on continuing his swimming career.