This week’s #MNPSMVP is Ian Marshall – Hume-Fogg Academic High School
When Ian Marshall learned how to swim, there were no swim instructors or lifeguards at the pool. It was just him and his grandfather who took the non-traditional approach of throwing him into the pool to teach him everything he needed to know about swimming. Today, with the help from trainers of the Nashville Aquatics Club, his swim coach Skyler Findley, along with the early teachings of his grandfather, Marshall is on his way to swimming on the collegiate level.
“My grandfather wanted to teach me how to swim his way,” Marshall said. “I guess throwing me in the pool was the best method of teaching. I’m still swimming.”
After his grandfather’s introduction to swimming, Marshall began lessons at the YMCA at age seven. Later, at the age of 11, he moved to the Nashville Aquatics Club. Through those lessons and trainings, Marshall has perfected every style of swimming, including the butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and turns – all forms he uses during competitions. Marshall swam in competitions under the Hume-Fogg Knights for four years. Recently, he placed second in his swim match, fifth place in the overall men’s competition and was a large contributor in helping the team place fourth overall in the Middle Tennessee Regional – the highest placement earned by the swim team.
“There is no underestimating Ian’s work ethic, he gives 110 percent in every competition,” Coach Skylar Findley said. “Ian swims with strategy and stamina during each swim meet. He is one of the biggest contributors to the team, encourages his teammates and exemplifies outstanding leadership.”
Not only is Marshall a competitive swimmer, he also volunteers with the Nashville Dolphins, a swim program for students with specials needs, and teaches them how to be comfortable in water and learn how to swim. Marshall’s brother, who has autism, also swims with the Nashville Dolphins program.
“Helping my younger brother how to swim has been so rewarding,” Marshall said.
When Marshall is out of the pool, he enjoys painting. His artwork has been featured at the Frist Art Museum and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art where he was a recipient of the “Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition.” A dedicated student, juggling several advanced placement courses, Marshall looks forward to graduation in May and starting practice with his new swim teammates when he arrives at Southern Illinois University next fall.