Junior Chris Jensen, a mechanical engineering major from Nashville, Tenn., was recently named to the University Athletic Association all-academic team.

He’s not only a good student, though. Jensen also contributed to the men’s swimming and diving team at the UAA championships last weekend, swimming the second leg of the 200 free relay and the 400 medley relay, both of which earned points for the Yellowjackets.

How do you balance your time between academics and swimming?

I got rid of my social life. Not really, but it’s a tradeoff. I have to work hard, but it’s doable.

Why did you start swimming?

I didn’t start swimming seriously until high school, but I never really did year-round swimming until I got here, so it was a big step up for me. I didn’t even plan on doing college swimming when I got here. I just started out doing it, and I forgot to quit.

So you just decided to join the team when you got here freshman year?
I swam in high school, and they knew I was coming here. I decided I’d at least start swimming, and I could always quit if I got tired of it. It turned out I liked it too much to quit.

What’s unique about being on a relay team?

Relays are the best, because it’s the only time in swimming that you actually have teammates with whom you get to work to do well.
I’m always more excited for the relays. It’s easier to get pumped up.

What was the best part about being at the UAAs?
Swimming fast with my teammates. It’s the one chance a year we’re working to really shave down to our best times.

What’s your favorite dinosaur?
Well, I’m most scared of velociraptors. Their claws are huge, and they’re really smart.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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