Jacob Hild breaks nine swim records at Danbury

Dec 26, 2023 | Featured, Sports | 0 comments

Jacob Hild is grasping every moment of his senior year of swim competition at Danbury High School.

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Jacob Hild broke nine school swim records and isn’t done striving for the next at Danbury High School. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

For many years, Danbury High School’s swimming pool was utilized for gym classes and community events, but it hasn’t supported a swim team in a few decades. Three years ago, the Danbury swim program was rebooted, and since that time, senior Jacob Hild has broken nine school records, many of which were set before the program was shuttered years ago.

“Danbury didn’t have a swim team for a few decades. He broke all the records from way back when,” said Jacob’s father, Brian Hild.

At a home meet on Thursday, Dec. 14, Jacob broke his own record in the 200 individual medley. He broke the school record last year with a time of two minutes, 27 seconds. This year, he swam it in two minutes, 25 seconds.

Jacob already held records in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay, for his total of nine records — so far.

“I might shoot for the backstroke, so I can get in the double digits,” Jacob said.

As a senior, Jacob is grasping at the time he has left as a high school swimmer.

“I’ve been working really hard this season, knowing it’s my last year to get my time in,” he said.

Jacob has been drawn to the water since he was young and then discovered a talent for swimming later in life.

“Growing up, I’ve always been a water bug. It didn’t matter what the temperature was, if we were fishing, I was in the water,” he said.

He started his competitive swimming career in a summer league when he was ten.

“I fell in love with it and kept pushing and pushing myself to improve,” he said.

It didn’t take long for his passion for water and a natural talent for swimming to intertwine to create a powerhouse of a swimmer.

“He played different sports, but it was one of those things where he knew he was meant for the water,” Brian said.

Jacob is the only senior on Danbury’s swim team, and he spent many weeks of practice “swimming in a lane alone” until Sandusky’s swim team started practicing at Danbury. Those weeks alone played with his confidence.

“At the beginning of the year, I was skeptical that I could push myself hard enough without competition,” he said.

Yet he learned to be his best competitor, so when Sandusky swimmers joined the pool, he was ready to take competition to the next level.

“I pushed myself beyond where I was comfortable, and then I pushed myself beyond that,” he said.

Jacob’s swim journey was buoyed by a lot of support. In addition to his parents, his little sister, Aletheia Hild, can be seen at the pool, holding signs and yelling encouragement.

“She’s my biggest fan,” Jacob said.

His coaches, Thomas de Haas and Pam Starr, have been influential on his success.

“They’ve really been pushing me, especially at practice. They give me workouts and tell me how they expect me to do them,” he said. “They’ve really helped me on my journey.”

The coaches don’t just push Jacob forward; they also build him up. Jacob said deHaas treats him with respect and regards his opinions.

“He’s very mindful and thoughtful,” Jacob said. “That makes me want to do better.”

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