#NationalSigningDay2023: James Martinez dives into a future at Hood College

James Martinez signs his National Letter of Intent to swim at Hood College.

Keira Knedeisen

James Martinez signs his National Letter of Intent to swim at Hood College.

The 2023 Linganore Swim and Dive captain, James Martinez, signed his National Letter of Intent on May 10. Martinez committed to swim competitively at Hood College in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

Martinez started swimming at a young age after watching his childhood best friend speed across the pool waters. He aspired to be fast like his friend and has stuck with swimming ever since. He is excited to continue his athletic career at Hood.

“I do love to swim,” Martinez said. “When I swim it is really, really quiet so I like that about swimming. [I like the fact that swimming] is also a solo sport.”

Martinez was not only a captain of the swim and dive team throughout the 2022-2023 season but also worked as a lifeguard at a community pool during the school year and summer months. 

Martinez is very dedicated to his sport and spends multiple hours each week practicing his strokes and form. Martinez passionately claims that swimming is “The healthiest sport [and] the most fun sport.”

“[I spent] maybe close to like ten or twenty [hours swimming each week],” Martinez said. “[The hours I spent swimming consisted of] just like high school practice and then whatever [time I spent swimming] on the weekends.” 

Martinez’s biggest supporter throughout his swimming career has been his mom, but that does not disregard the support and pride the Linganore Swim and Dive team has shown Martinez. 

“He’s a leader and served our team as well as shaped this season into the best one yet,” first-year swim coach Ashley Abuelhawa said. “He served as an incredible role model as captain.”

Martinez bested many of his personal records in the 2022-2023 season and even swam his fastest 53 meter at the state championship match in February. 

During the season, Martinez was presented the Outstanding Senior Swimming Award due to his constant dedication and improvement. 

Outside of the chlorinated waters, Martinez plans to major in archaeological studies when he attends Hood. While his major may change, Martinez enjoys exploring and discovering more about history dating back centuries.  

Martinez decided to attend Hood after the Linganore Swim and Dive coach Mr. Hawkins helped him get in contact with the Hood swim coach. After talking with the Hood swim coach and being offered a scholarship for the sport Martinez claims attending Hood was “the obvious choice.”