ALEX PERCIVAL STILLWATER, SR., SWIMMING
Percival, a senior, belongs to a dwindling group of high school athletes who take part in three sports. In addition to swimming, he runs cross-country and is an 800-meter runner on the track team.
Do you have one sport you prefer? Not really. I don't think of any sport as being my primary sport. I just like to be thought of as a competitor.
In which sport have you been competing the longest? Swimming, in terms of being a part of a team. When you're a kid, there aren't really any cross-country or track teams.
Your mother, Patti, is a track and cross-country coach at White Bear Lake. Has that had an influence on you becoming a runner? I wouldn't say my parents hoped I would become a runner, but they were always running themselves, and I looked up to them.
Are there many others on the swimming team that compete in other sports? There are a few others who are multiple-sport athletes, but most of them swim year-round.
Which events are your specialty? I swim the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. I qualified for the state meet in the butterfly last year, but I didn't make it to the finals. And I was on the 400 freestyle relay team in the state meet.
What is your best athletic memory? Taking second place in the 4-by-800-meter relay last spring at the state meet. We had the lead going into the final lap, but Eden Prairie ended up running us down.
Any advice for young athletes looking to play multiple sports? Stick with everything and don't pidgeonhole yourself into just one sport. Put in the work and take advantage of the coaching and you can do something special.