Burnsville senior Izaak Davison-Kerwood stepped up on the starting block and looked toward the scoreboard during the Class 2A boys’ swimming meet a year ago. He got a good look at himself.

“I saw myself on the Jumbotron and remembered, when I first started swimming, that my wildest dream was to swim in the state meet, let alone be featured on their enormous TV,” Davison-Kerwood said.

Davison-Kerwood was featured on the Jumbotron as he prepared for a swim-off for 17th place in the 100-yard butterfly. He won the head-to-head matchup by over a quarter of a second.

Here is a closer look at Davison-Kerwood, who also qualified for the upcoming state meet this weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center:

 

Q What is the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?

A “Chef.” I enjoyed the family elements along with its artistic displays of food.

 

Q Name three songs you never skip on your iPod?

A Passenger playing “Thunder” or “27,” and “Gold On The Ceiling” by the Black Keys.

 

Q Three words or phrases your friends or teammates might use to describe you?

A Witty, motivational and creative.

 

Q When did you get started in swimming?

A I started swimming in ninth grade because a friend of mine didn’t want to be alone on the team. It was also winter. I was into long-distance running at the time, and I thought swimming would be good cross-training. My friend promptly quit, one week into the season, but I was hooked. I’ve been in the water ever since. I swam in my sophomore year for six weeks with a cast on my broken right arm, replacing the waterproof cast every week as it fell apart from hours in the chlorine pool.

 

Q At my first varsity practice, you were …

A … in shock. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing, and I was in complete awe of the older swimmers.

 

Q How do you balance school and sports during the year?

A Many high school athletes say they have a hard time balancing school and sports during their seasons, but I have never had much trouble balancing my classes. It’s just a matter of either doing the work promptly, or being a very fast typist the night before a paper is due. And, a lot of coffee. People find time for the things that matter to them.

 

Q If you could change one thing about high school sports, what would it be?

A I would make the practices harder while keeping them just as entertaining. Challenging but fun at the same time. Also, public school athletics should be accessible to kids from all socioeconomic classes, and they’re not that way today.

 

Q Do you have a secret talent — and if so, what is it?

A I do love to paint. I’ve been painting since I was little and many of the swimmers have suffered through me trying to ply them for an opinion on a painting. A talent I discovered this year is apparently I have a knack for yelling out a speech at a crowd and getting them really excited. I’m told that my veins become more and more pronounced as the rant continues, and by the end they’re half caught up in my words and half caught up in watching my heart beat through my neck.

 

Q What is the best sports advice you have ever received?

A Do what you love, and love what you do. It’s simple; you are in a sport to make yourself into a better person, not to torture yourself, and it’s so much better if you can have fun with what you do.

RON HAGGSTROM