Healthy sibling rivalry: ‘Stoga brothers strengthen swim team and each other

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Siblings Jake Wang and Gary Wang have been swimming competitively for most of their lives, and yet they have only raced together once. This will soon change, as freshman Jake Wang joined the boys swim team alongside his older brother, a junior.

By Julia Harris, Staff Reporter

Siblings Jake Wang and Gary Wang have been swimming competitively for most of their lives, and yet they have only raced together once. This will soon change, as freshman Jake Wang joined the boys swim team alongside his older brother, a junior.   

Being teammates with a sibling can lead to increased competition, and swimming is no exception. Swimming is an individual effort at heart, but it truly is a team sport. It is common to compare event times, but, besides the occasional inevitable sibling disagreement, Jake Wang and Gary Wang try not to see competition as a bad thing. In fact, the brothers view it as an advantage driving them to push even harder to improve their performances.  

“We’re both great swimmers and being on the team and just swimming in relays together and swimming against each other is beneficial for the both of us,” Jake Wang said. “It’s going to be fun. I’m going to enjoy it. I feel like we’re going to do really well on a relay together.”  

Jake Wang has been swimming since he was five years old and eventually joined the Suburban Swim Club team in Newtown Square. He is consistently ranked among the top swimmers in the region and beyond. For his age group, he is ranked first in the nation in the 100-meter breaststroke. He also made Junior Nationals with his exceptional times.  

“He’s only 14 and he’s already almost at the same level as I am,” Gary Wang said. “It is definitely a huge boost for our team and he definitely adds to our depth. The reason we thought we could win districts as a team is him joining.”  

Even though Jake Wang is a nationally recognized athlete, winning awards isn’t what he enjoys most about swimming. For him, it’s more about spending time with his teammates and supporting each other during competitions.  

“The most fun part of swimming for me is the meet itself,” Jake Wang said. The swimming is probably like 1% of it, just being there with your friends and your team is the best part about it.”  

Gary Wang has also been swimming since he was five years old and has been recognized for his own athletic talent. Last year he achieved an all-American time at States, making the Junior Nationals cut as well. As teammates, Jake Wang and Gary Wang have helped Conestoga defeat every competitor so far this year.  

Although Jake Wang’s addition to the team has been beneficial, Gary Wang noted that it does put some added stress on him, especially because the siblings primarily compete in the same events.  

“It definitely puts a lot of pressure on me because (I don’t want to) lose to him. But it’s fun and it definitely creates a better, more competitive environment at meets and in the house,” Gary Wang said.  

Swimming isn’t an easy sport; it requires a lot of mental strength to battle through tough practices and meets. Gary Wang mentioned that while he and Jake Wang aren’t always happy with their performances, the most important thing is that they are able to be there for each other through all of it.  

“Sometimes I have a good meet and he has a bad meet, or I have a bad meet and he has a good meet, but we always support each other,” Gary Wang said.

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