R-JENERATION: Coronado High School senior, a top swimmer in the state, heading to Harvard

Coronado High School senior Jacob Luna is only steps from Olympic medals and a first-class college education.

Luna, a top swimmer statewide, was accepted at Harvard University with an undeclared major this fall, but Harvard wasn’t the only school offering him a spot. Luna took several recruiting trips before making his decision.

“Out of all the schools that I visited, Harvard was my favorite,” he says. “I am very excited to be attending next year. It is a great opportunity that I am very happy to have the chance to take.”

In addition to his academic achievements, Luna has made his mark athletically. This turned out to be a significant deciding factor in his choice of university.

“It is one of the best schools in the world, and they have a swim team with great coaches and very hardworking swimmers. The combination of the great academic and athletic opportunities is what ended up really drawing me towards Harvard.”

Luna swims on a club team called Boulder City Henderson Heatwave, and in the spring, he’ll compete on the Coronado varsity swim team, which ranked third at the state high school swim meet in 2010. Luna took first place in the 100-yard butterfly and second in the 100 freestyle.

Friend and teammate Hans Nossen says seeing Luna swim is amazing.

“I think he’s competitive on the inside, but he doesn’t show it much until you watch him swim,” Nossen says.

Coronado varsity swim coach David Stump speaks highly of Luna.

“He is one of the most talented high school swimmers I’ve ever encountered in 30 years of coaching,” Stump says. “It would surprise me if he wasn’t terribly successful in the future. His work ethic and intelligence really help in his swimming. I can’t imagine him not reaching every goal he sets for himself.”

Luna also has high hopes for himself in upcoming years.

“As far as my future goals go, I would like to help the Harvard men’s swim team win at the Ivy League Championships and be able to compete and score at NCAAs (national championships),” Luna says.

Luna also has earned a chance at competing in the 2016 summer Olympics. At a meet this year, he posted a qualifying time that will send him to the Olympic trials this summer.

Luna still finds time for friends and other pastimes in between school and competition.

He spends a lot of his free time playing guitar. He is in the advanced guitar class at Coronado taught by Matt Nishimoto, which accompanies the rest of his complete six-hour class schedule of honors and Advanced Placement classes.

“Jake’s been in my guitar program for three years now,” Nishimoto says. “He’s an excellent guitarist, way above his level, playing college-level repertoire with ease and expression. It’s been a pleasure to watch him grow each year.”

Those close to him say Luna stays humble about his achievements.

“I’ve always just tried to be the best that I can be at whatever I do,” Luna says.

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