March 12, 2007
In preparation for the NCAA Swimming Championships, Utsports.com will publish several profiles to spotlight nine Tennessee swimmers who qualified for the 2007 NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Each day a new release will focus on a new swimmer to honor his accomplishments, to peer into the personality of a UT swimmer and to learn about his preparatory thoughts on the championships that will be held March 15-17. The swimmers will be highlighted in the following order: Brad Boswell, Andrew Engle, Octavio Alesi, Jim Dabney, Nolan Morrell, Barry Murphy, Jeff Sudbury, Michael Wolfe and Andrew Thirlwell. Today's profile focuses on sophomore Jeffrey Sudbury.
Jeffrey Sudbury - born in Montréal, Quebec, Canada - came out of Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Conn., with an impressive résumé. The state record holder in the 50 and 100 freestyles earned All-America honors 10 times in his Joel Barlow tenure. He even qualified at Canadian Olympic trials.
"When I was a junior in high school, I went to Olympic trials for Canada," Sudbury said. "That was pretty interesting because it was my first international meet. I actually made finals in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle. That was the icebreaker that made me really want to go next year and make the team. Since I was ten years old, it has always been a goal of mine to go to the Olympics. And that's the reason I decided to come to UT because that was the best way to accomplish that goal. JT (UT head coach John Trembley) is a phenomenal coach and this program has a lot of history. With all the coaching and training here, UT was the best place to come."
Sudbury interest in swimming derived from his family, mainly his siblings who all liked to participate in sports.
"My entire family is made up of swimmers," Sudbury said. "I have two brothers and a sister. We all did a bunch of sports, and swimming was one of them. I was the only one who actually stuck with it. My sister almost stuck with it. My sister quit in high school but when she got to the University of Toronto she took it up her second year and ended up being captain her senior year."
Sudbury, as previously mentioned, is a record hold in Connecticut, but his dad might suggest such qualities were instilled by paternal influences.
"My dad always says he has a pool record up in Canada," Sudbury said. "The pool used to be in yards but now is in meters. That pool record is never going to be broken."
Sudbury's success did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff here at UT. In fact, Sudbury was forced to choose between multiple universities.
"I also looked at the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia," Sudbury said. "It was a pretty hard decision to make because those are two of the best public schools academically, and the swim teams were also very good. When I came on a recruiting trip her, I saw the team and how well they bonded together. We went go-carting and to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. It was a lot of fun. I began to put a lot of trust in JT because he gave me a lot of motivational incentive on what I could accomplish if I came here. I thought he was a nice guy and a really good coach. So, that's why I came to UT."
The decision to come to UT has paid off as Sudbury prepares to leave Tuesday for Minneapolis, Minn., for the NCAA Championships. Sudbury will swim the 200 freestyle relay and possibly the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays as well. He is relaxed and ready for competition.
"We've been preparing in the pool by really taking our mind off of it, trying to keep pressure off of us," Sudbury said. "When you go into big meets like this, you have a lot of pressure on you and you start thinking about it a lot. You tend to psych yourself out, but JT has been trying to keep us calm by doing short practices, especially for Barry Murphy and I who are sprinters. So, we've hardly done anything this week. That is what's best for us, it keeps us relaxed and we're not tired at all."
Sudbury plans to walk away with success at the NCAAs and has set many goals for the remainder of his career at UT and beyond.
"The Olympics is my ultimate goal," Sudbury said. "By next year, I would like to make top 3 or win in the SECs and I would like to be making finals in individual events at the NCAA. By my senior year, I would like to be making final heat in NCAAs. You know the NCAAs is the fastest meet in the entire world, even faster than the Olympics. I think accomplishing that by itself would be just as satisfying as making the Olympics."
The 2007 NCAA Championships, again, are held March 15-17 in Minneapolis, Minn. The next profile will feature junior Michael Wolfe.