Swimming: Jeske makes dramatic strides

Lili Jeske has only been swimming competitively since her freshman year, but she's become one of the top athletes on the San Benito girls team.

Lili Jeske played a variety of sports growing up, but nothing ever sustained her interest. That all changed when Jeske took up swimming during her freshman year. The San Benito High junior found her calling in the pool that year, winning her first-ever race in the 100 backstroke in a dual meet midway through the season.
“That’s the first time I came in first in anything, so it was pretty exciting,” Jeske said. “It really made me think that I could do well in this sport.”
Jeske has improved every year, placing 11th last season in the 100 freestyle in the Monterey Bay League Championships. With the MBLs coming up a week from Saturday, Jeske has high hopes in her four events: the 50 free, 100 free, 200 medley relay and 200 free relay. Jeske wants to go sub 28 seconds in the 50 free and under a minute in the 100 free.
“Lili has really turned out to be a great swimmer for us,” Balers coach Fred Latimore said. “She’s very consistent and fast, and I can count on her to place in the top three in her events every time.”
With a positive attitude and solid work ethic, Jeske continues to be on an upward trajectory. Latimore expects Jeske to continue to shave seconds off her times in all of her events. Latimore feels Jeske’s outlook has a lot to do with her success.
“Above and beyond anything, Lili brings a great attitude to practice,” he said. “She’s always ready to work and willing to learn new things. I get her for one more year, which is fantastic.”
Jeske had a superb meet in the team’s win over Monterey last week. She placed first in the 100 free, third in the 50 free and was a part of the winning 200 free and 200 medley relay teams. In a dual meet against Alvarez earlier this season, Jeske out-touched an Alvarez swimmer at the wall in the 100 free.
It was her closest victory ever, and a sign that she was in good form.
“We have really good coaches who help us on our form,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot from them, and I’ve gotten faster as well.”
Jeske’s 4.5 GPA this year attests to her dedication to academics. A number of members of the swim team have some of the top GPAs in the school.
“It’s competitive and pretty tough here,” Jeske said. “We have a lot of swimmers who are serious about school.”
Latimore sees nothing but faster times for Jeske going forward.
“I’m sure she’ll improve her times from this year to next year,” he said. “She’ll be a bigger threat to finish first or second every time in all of her events.”

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