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ALL-COUNTY SWIM & DIVE BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jack Aikins, West Forsyth
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The Aikins family is as strongly linked to a particular team’s success as any other county clan. Katherine Aikins was around for the Longhorns girls’ state championship four-peat from 2013 to 2016, and Caroline Aikins was there for the last two of those titles. Both sisters were key members of those wins, and both are now with the University of Georgia’s powerhouse program.

Then there’s Jack, the younger brother, who has passed on the Lambert legacy and is doing his own thing at West Forsyth. His reason for doing so is the most boring one possible.

“I was going to go to Lambert, and then we just moved around a lot,” Aikins said. “And now we live closer to West, so that’s just where I went.”

Fair enough. And even with the change of program, an Aikins is an Aikins. Jack, just a sophomore, was the best sprinter in the county and one of the best in the state this year.

At the state championships, he won the 50-yard freestyle by almost half a second, in 20.67, and finished third in the 100 free in 45.24. He also had the fastest leg in Wolverines’ 200 free relay, which was composed entirely of freshmen and sophomores but still finished third in the state. Aikins’ season was easily the best in the history of West’s program, and he is now part of eight of the school’s 11 swimming records, either setting the time individually or as part of a relay.

Getting to know...

Jack Aikins

Favorite social media platform: Instagram

Favorite non-social media app: Clash Royale

Typical breakfast: Scrambled eggs and toast

Main sport of choice, if not swimming: Track & field

Favorite school subject: Biology

Go-to Netflix show: The Office

Jack Aikins has all of the qualities that made his sisters stars. He has their height and long limbs, and his strengths are a blend of theirs. In college, Caroline has specialized in the backstroke and individual medley, while Katherine has stayed with the freestyle events: Jack’s success in the free this year speaks for itself, but he also has aspirations of qualifying for the Olympic trials in the 200-meter backstroke, an event that isn’t contested at high school meets in Georgia. Though he shined at state in the free this year, Jack also had top-10 finishes in the 200 individual medley and 100 back as a freshman at West.

But the reality of state championship glory didn’t feel realistic to Jack until it actually happened to him.

“I don’t know – it just seemed like such an incredible feat,” he said. “And I just didn’t know if I’d be able to do it at that point.”

Like many accomplished club swimmers, Aikins is drawn to high school swimming for the atmosphere of team spirit that doesn’t exist elsewhere. And while he certainly has many memories of being around the Lambert program, he’s perfectly happy with what’s going on at West, especially with the potential of the Wolverines’ program and the relays he’s on.

“It makes me feel like we have a pretty bright future at West,” Aikins said. “When you have two seniors and two juniors, I think it’s going to be a lot faster, and we might have a chance of winning.”