Trumbull's Jack Gray to swim for UConn Huskies

Jack Gray puts pen to paper after choosing to swim at the University of Connecticut. Backing the Trumbull High senior are mom Claudia Gray, dad Roy and coach Ellen Johnston.
Jack Gray puts pen to paper after choosing to swim at the University of Connecticut. Backing the Trumbull High senior are mom Claudia Gray, dad Roy and coach Ellen Johnston.

Trumbull High senior Jack Gray recently signed a letter of intent to swim at the University of Connecticut next season.

Gray has been swimming at the national level since joining the Westport/Weston YMCA Water Rat program in 2015.

“We are excited that Jack has decided to join our growing program,” said UConn head coach Chris Maiello. “Jack’s attitude, work ethic, talent and desire to get better are all qualities that we look for in our recruiting efforts.

"Jack will have a great four years representing the Huskies, and is an integral part of our efforts to represent the state of Connecticut and UConn at the highest levels of our sport.”

Gray, who will be looking to study economics and political science, said, “I received a call from Coach Maiello to come up for a visit and I was really impressed by their facility and what they had to offer as a program.

"He has a great vision for the UConn program and I’m really excited to be part of what they are building up there.”

The Water Rats, established in 1949, are a registered USA swimming team sanctioned by Connecticut Swimming to compete in USA swim competitions at the local, regional, state and national level. Members of the team have been perennial state champions.

“Prior to swimming at Westport/Weston, I swam for a club team in Shelton and in 2012 I swam for the Trumbull Pisces,” said Gray. “The goal going into the Nationals was to try and contribute to the team’s overall score. I did want to achieve some personal best times and I was able to accomplish that, as well.”

Gray is a mid to long distance specialist, who put up some personal best times at last year’s YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina. He posted three top 16 finishes, placing 11th in the 200 freestyle among 150 competitors with a personal best time of 1:40.48.

“I wanted to try and get into the top 16, where I would be in a position to score points for my team,” Gray said. “The competition is intense. It was just amazing to face that kind of competition and to be able to compete at that level. It certainly shows that all the hard work is paying off.”

Gray also had a 12th-place finish in the 1000 freestyle with a personal best of 9:24.58 and a 10th-place finish as a member of the 800 freestyle relay team in a time of 6:51.69. He also set personal best marks with a 19th-place showing in the 500 freestyle at 4:33.71 and in the 1650 freestyle at 15:59.05.

Water Rats head coach Ellen Johnston took 16 swimmers to the 2017 Nationals and this year will bring 25 swimmers to the 2018 Nationals to be held April 3-8 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Gray concluded his senior year of swimming for the Water Rats finishing with the third highest individual point total (113) at the Connecticut Senior Swim Championships held at Wesleyan University on March 8-11.

He had a third-place finish in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:38.17 and set a career mark of 51.46 with a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly. Gray was second in the 200 butterfly at 1:53.72, fourth in the 200 IM at 1:58.26 and had an eighth-place showing in the 1000 freestyle at 9:45.08.

“I was considering UMass, Seton Hall and Penn State,” said Gray. “But I’m happy with my choice of UConn. I think it’s the right place for me and I’m really excited to be part of their program.”