Woodberry Forest senior Zachary Switzer is one of the best high school swimmers in Virginia. In 2012 and 2013, he's been voted the men's most outstanding swimmer at the VISAA state meet.
"It kind of gives me chills, I guess, and shows that the work has paid off," Switzer says of the back-to-back honors.
But for switzer, it wasn't exactly love at first swim.
"The first year I tried out for summer league swim team, I got out of the pool and was balling my eyes out because I hated it so much."
Twelve years later, he's a 10-time state champion, 7-time prep league champion, and 7-time All-American.
"He's committed to the sport, wants to do everything possible to get better," says Woodberry Forest swimming coach Gregory Guldin. "Whether it be something dry land, whether it be lifting more or doing something extra or coming in for more hours of swimming, and at the same time being able to maintain that high academic rigor as well."
In addition to his training, Switzer has taken on a number of leadership roles at Woodberry. He's one of 18 prefects at the school, making him responsible for running a floor of his dorm and also for helping uphold the school's honor system. He's also captain of the Tigers' swim team.
"In one of our home swim meets against one of our rivals, after one of the events, he got out of the pool and called the team together and just said, 'wait until you see what I'm going to do in this 100 back, and then we need to go after the 100 back, and win the relay.' And that's exactly what we did, and we ended up winning that meet by one point," says Guldin.
Switzer holds the VIS state records for the 100 backstroke, 200
Individual medley, and the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay. With a long list of high school accomplishments taken care of, Switzer has already set some goals for his four years at Virginia Tech.
"I want to hold above a 3.5 GPA throughout my time there, and then for swimming, I want to become one of the top swimmers in the ACC."