A swimming star in the making? This teenager is aiming to duplicate parents’ success

Swimming is natural for Gabriel Jett‘s family.

His sister, Sierra Jett, is a junior on the nationally ranked Auburn University team.

And both parents were Auburn stars. Scott Jett (now a dental surgeon in Fresno) was a 16-time All-American and Kristie (Krueger) Jett was a 15-time All-American.

Pressure for Gabriel Jett, 16, to do well in high school and beyond? He found some relief by taking a slightly different path than his parents, who were both sprinters.

“I’m honestly glad I swim different events than my parents did,” he said. “I’m not quite a distant swimmer, but I can swim a lot of stuff. I’ve had to learn the joy of training hard and having that manifest into winning and being fast and I enjoy the sport now.”

Gabriel is competing in this week’s TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis North Aquatics Center. The event wraps up Saturday, when Gabriel is entered in the 200-meter backstroke and 100 freestyle prelims.

Gabriel competes for the Clovis Swim Club. He’s been home-schooled like his sister, but said he’s planning to compete for Clovis North High next season.

“We have some fast people from Clovis North, Clovis West and Buchanan,” he said. “I’m looking forward to swimming in high school. I really want to race all the guys and cheering on my friends. I like racing and winning.”

The TYR is another level, of course, and Gabriel said competing this week “puts everything into perspective.”

In particular, Gabriel said it’s helping him prepare for the U.S. Junior Nationals, which are Aug. 6-10 at Stanford. (The Phillips 66 National Championships are the week before in the same pool.)

“Get used to a big atmosphere because that’s what Junior Nationals are going to be like,” he said. “It’s going to be this big scene and a lot of fast people.”

Related stories from Fresno Bee

Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.