MINOCQUA - "It seems like it was a few weeks ago that I was a freshman on this team swimming with my brother," said Lakeland Union senior swimmer Jack Garcia.
Three years have passed since Garcia was a freshman for the Thunderbirds. Now, as a senior, he leads the T-Birds, not with his brother, but instead with a friend.
"Second grade he told me 'Hey you should go to swim practice' and I was just like 'alright.' I just wanted to hang out with Jack," said Lakeland Union senior swimmer Grant Gibson.
Since then Gibson has gotten to hang out with Jack a lot.
"I've had cross-country with him for four years. We were on the tennis team for our freshman and sophomore year and then we moved to track together," said Garcia.
The two swimmers have helped the T-Birds become back-to-back conference and sectional champions. Gibson says he gives the credit to Garcia.
"He kind of dragged me along this journey and I can't thank him enough for it," said Gibson.
Now that journey has nearly reached its end as the two swimmers prepare for their last high school meet.
"I can't believe it, how far we've come," said Gibson.
They've come from a couple of kids to a duo that now hopes to finish their high school careers on the state podium.
"It'll mean a lot to me to just be there on the podium with those guys and share that moment with them," said Garcia.
A moment that Gibson says he's happy he might share with Garcia as a teammate and not as a competitor.
"He's bested me at most events, but I'm happy he's on my team, instead of going against him," said Gibson.
As for their coach, Chris Garcia says a few podium finishes would be the perfect ending to a journey years in the making.
"Some of these guys, I've coached since they were eight years old and we're all going to finish this part of their life down there at Madison together and send them off," said Chris Garcia.
Story By: Mark Spillane