Seabury Hall freshman Jasmine O’Brien splashes through life

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Tyler Orikasa

Seabury Hall freshman Jasmine O'Brien swims competitively for Hawaii Swim Club and for the school.

Nattharika Kaonachaithawon, Staff Writer

Seabury Hall freshman Jasmine O’Brien is all about speed. O’Brien has been swimming competitively for eight years since her parents signed her up at the age of six. Swimming is a big sport here in Hawaii because there are many clubs in the state, so O’Brien has many competitors. But with her passion for swimming, she strives to beat records and just have fun in the water.

O’Brien has been swimming for so long that she describes the feeling as “instinct.” She stated, “It feels normal. It feels almost like walking, you don’t think about it,” While swimming is as natural as walking to O’Brien, she also enjoys the friendships she makes through the sport. She said without hesitation, “I make friends all the time.”

Paige Nagahama, a fellow Seabury student and club swimmer, has been swimming for five years and has known O’Brien ever since she started. Dedicated, motivated, and determined are O’Brien’s best qualities, according to Nagahama, who stated, “She puts a lot of pressure on herself, which is good and bad at the same time.”

O’Brien not only pushes herself but she also spreads joy to others. Nagahama said, “She’s my joy every time I go to practice. It’s the one thing that I look forward to, seeing her and some of my other friends. She makes it really fun.”

O’Brien is a competitive swimmer for Hawaii Swim Club, and she has definitely made her coach and love ones proud. For the 50 meter freestyle age 13-14 group in the current season, O’Brien is currently ranked first in her club and fifth in Hawaii. Next, for the 50-yard free age 13-14 group, O’Brien came in first for her club once again and holds the rank of seventh in Hawaii. Overall, for the girls age 13-14 in the United States, O’Brien ranks 750 out of over 1,000 swimmers. Considering that the first place winner is only 3.2 seconds ahead of her, that is a superior accomplishment.

O’Brien’s coach, Reid Toshio Yamamoto, has been her coach for three years; however, he has coached swimming for a total of 30 years. Yamamoto is very proud of O’Brien’s accomplishments. He stated in a text message, “Jasmine, I think, is truly passionate about swimming and in whatever she does. She sets high goals for herself and works hard to achieve them.” Since O’Brien is planning to swim with the Seabury Hall team, Yamamoto believes that she will be one of the best swimmers in the MIL and will contribute a lot to the team.

Every day, O’Brien has practice with the Hawaii Swim Club from 4:00 to 6:00 PM and has very little time to get from Makawao to Kahului and get ready. Yet, she balances her athletic and academic life very steadily. Even with the Seabury Hall workload, O’Brien is able to finish homework in a timely manner.

Even though swimming is not something O’Brien would like to pursue as a career because the sustainability is questionable, she would like to keep swimming for as long as possible. The accomplishments that O’Brien has earned have definitely prepared her for the future.

O’Brien strives to be her best and also spreads the excitement to others. With her experience with swimming so far, O’Brien has a strong foundation for her upcoming meets. When the MIL swimming season starts this month, she will bring many strong qualities to Seabury Hall swim team.