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Eva Carlson, Zach Deal, and Mason Johnson

Photo: Kristin Cheatwood

BY Julie Gallagher

Ages: Eva Carlson, 10, Zach Deal, 12, and Mason Johnson, 12.
Team: Sun Valley 5B Swim Team

Despite being smack dab in the middle of a landlocked state, thanks to Sun Valley’s 5B Swim Team, the Wood River Valley has a pretty impressive history of producing top quality swimmers. So we decided to shine a spotlight on a few up and coming local swimmers.

How long have you been swimming competitively?
Eva: Two years, since I was 8. But I started swim classes when I was 6 months old with my mom.
Zach: Since I was five, first with Wood River Dolphins in the summer, and the last two years with (Coach) Brian Gallagher and SV5B.
Mason: Five years. I started swimming with Magic Valley Dolphins at age 7.

What are the keys to being good swimmers?
Eva: Practicing a lot and listening to Brian!
Zach: Devotion, no slacking, making every training set worth it!
Mason: Consistency in training, attitude, effort and dedication…you get what you put into it!

Any tips for people new to the sport?
Eva: You have to try really hard.
Zach: You really need to like swimming and stick to it no matter how hard it is. Learn how to focus so you can do your best.
Mason: You need a lot of dedication and have to be willing to work hard … and your parents need to be super supportive.

Where do you train?
At the “Y” during the school-year, Harker Center in the summer.

Who is your biggest influence?
Eva: My dad who is a ski racer and mountain bike racer; and my mom who skis and mountain bikes too.
Zach: My mom who works hard to help me and my sister and my coach Brian, who is so calm and fun. He believes in me and encourages me.
Mason: My mom and dad who encourage me, my sister, Maddie,who’s so supportive, and my coach, Brian, who believes in me.

Favorite class in school?
Eva: I love my school and I like Math and Science; in English I read about Gertrude Ederle who swam the English Channel.
Zach: Language arts. I am a huge reader and am reading the biography of Lynne Cox, a long-distance swimmer who set records swimming both the English and Catalina Channels.
Mason: Math, science and art.

What’s your motto?
Zach: Never give up…and just keep smiling!
Mason: Do your best and NO SLACKING! I get kind of irritated when kids don’t try their hardest.

Favorite book?
Eva: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.
Zach: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Mason: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini and Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time, Part 6) by Robert Jordan.




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