Boys sports profile: Izak Zaplatar

By swimming for UT and Mac, junior discovers thrill of competition and his second swim family

DIVING UP: Zaplatar dives into the water at the Dripping Springs Swim meet on Sept. 14. In the first meet of the season, Zaplatar finished first in both the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke. His teammates and fellow competitors from other high schools congratulated him on his wins. “I really want to drop my time,” Zaplatar said, “but also, I [want] to make a better connection with the rest of the team.”

Kristen Tibbetts, co-editor in chief

The Shield: How many years have you been on the team?

Izak Zaplatar: I’m a junior now, so three years.

TS: When did you discover that you liked to swim?

IZ: When I was younger, I would swim for my neighborhood swim team, but after a couple years I lost that. But then my brother got into swimming at McCallum his freshman year, so when I came freshman year, he was a senior on swim team, so I did it with him and just fell in love with it.

TS: Who is your brother?

IZ: Emerson Zaplatar.

TS: When did you start swimming competitively?

IZ: Probably sophomore year. During freshman year I just did it for McCallum, but sophomore year, I swam for UT and McCallum. So, now I’m still doing it for both of those teams. Club is a lot more competitive because there are more people with faster times.

TS: What does your practice schedule look like?

IZ: After school at 5:15 p.m., I leave to go to UT. I get back home at 8 p.m. some days, but if I’m staying for McCallum practice as well as UT practice, I’ll stay for an extra 30 minutes with McCallum. I don’t want to overwork myself, so I’ll leave at 8:30 p.m. and finally get home.

TS: What do you like about being on the McCallum team?

IZ: It’s a family. It’s a lot of fun. Everyone can act like themselves, and it’s very open to everyone, which I think is great.

TS: What are your goals, both in club and at McCallum for this year?

IZ: I really want to drop my time, but also to make a better connection with the rest of the team.

TS: What has been your favorite moment on the team, any year?

IZ: Definitely the overnight meets with the McCallum team. It’s a lot of fun, and you get to spend a lot of time with the team. You get to room with your buddies, and it’s just a fun time. When you go swim the next day, there’s a lot of enthusiasm.

TS: Do those meets happen often?

IZ: We have about two overnight meets every year, so that’s not a lot, but they do happen regularly.

TS: What is the general meet schedule?

IZ: For McCallum, we have a meet every three weeks, but I also have a meet every three weeks for UT. So, in all, I have two meets every three weeks.

TS: How did you place in the meet last weekend?

IZ: I did pretty well! I got first place in both 50 breaststroke and the 100 breaststroke, so I am pretty happy with that.

TS: How do you think this season compares to last season?

IZ: We lost a lot of seniors, my brother is no longer here, and we have quite a bit of new people. Hopefully we will be a stronger team, but only time will tell.