Junior Jim Bristow, a financial economics major from Torquay, England, happened upon the game of squash around age 8 and realized that he had a talent for it. This talent now shines forth on the courts in the United States he’s currently ranked sixth in the country.
Last weekend, Bristow led UR to wins over Franklin ‘ Marshall College and the U.S. Naval Academy.
What made you decide to start playing squash?
My best friend took me to the squash club when I was about 8. After a few weeks, I started beating some people. I started beating him, and he had been playing since he was 5, and suddenly I was quite good and realized, ‘Oh shit, I could do this.”
What made you decide to come to UR?
I was trying to decide whether to go to university in England or play professional squash. One day, I got a phone call from head coach Martin Heath. For a squash player, this is ridiculous, because he was No. 4 in the world. So, I got a phone call from him saying, ‘I’m starting coaching at a university. Would you like to come?” All of a sudden, I went from not knowing what I was going to do to ‘Sweet, I’m going to school in America.”
What has been the most interesting part about living in the United States?
Being at university here, you’re not just getting to know the American people. You’re getting to know people from everywhere. People from Finland, Ukraine, Japan and Brazil and everywhere. The American people are great, and I love them, but I also like that at university you get to meet people from all over the world.
How are you preparing for the match against Trinity on Friday?
We’re trying to be relaxed. This team is like 10-time national champions, and we’ve never even come close to playing them. We just played Princeton and got beaten badly, so I think everyone’s trying to forget about that, try to be relaxed and actually just enjoy it.
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.