Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
He's the leader of a swimming team that's hosting the Sectional Championships.
And he's in the top 2 of his class academically.
His intellect, combined with his love for the water, have gotten him into the Naval Academy.
Action Sports reporter Gabe Osterhout introduces us to this Owego senior Jacob Mendelson.
His parents got him involved with a community swim team when he was just 6 years old.
Since then, it would be difficult to find Owego senior Jacob Mendelson away from the pool.
He's one of the leaders of the swim team, excelling at the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle.
He's also the team manager for the women's swim team and a lifeguard.
"You find a passion in something you really enjoy doing and it really starts growing on you. You find something that you just genuinely want to do. I love having my teammates around me. I love having something I can be successful at...just keeps me coming back every year."
Mendelson has been on the varsity team since he was in 8th grade.
And has been a big influence on his teammates since.
"He gets it. He just understands and he gets it and he's a great leader and he is hands down one of the greatest kids, greatest athletes I've ever coached."
Outside of the pool, Mendelson carries a 99 average, which has him in the top 2 of his class.
Mendelson is the senior class vice president and a delegate for Boys State.
He hopes to work on his leadership and determination next season, when he heads to the Naval Academy.
He hopes to be accepted into the Naval Special Warfare.
"The whole military is based on teamwork, but I saw ever since I was really little that all the guys that are in Special Warfare just have this brotherhood and this team concept, kind of like we have in swimming and I just want to continue that."
But before he enlists in the Navy, he has some unfinished business in the pool...hoping to lead Owego to a sectional and even a state title.
And that's why Jacob Mendelson is this week's Academic All-Star.
In Owego, Gabe Osterhout, Action Sports.