Preston Jenkins is a freshman swimmer at BYU. Kaleb Jenkins is a senior swimmer at the United States Air Force Academy. Both boys recall growing up swimming together, but so many times their paths never crossed.
The Jenkins brothers swim very different events, and are four years apart. Kaleb Jenkins is more of a sprinter, and Preston Jenkins is more of a long-distance swimmer; however, the boys have competed in one event together — the 200-meter IM. Throughout their early swim years, Kaleb Jenkins quickly advanced to higher age groups and competition levels before Preston Jenkins was old enough for them to swim together.
When Preston Jenkins turned 15, Kaleb Jenkins had not left home for the Air Force Academy yet, and the boys swam together a few times in the 200 IM. Whenever this happened, the meet would line them up together. Then Kaleb Jenkins left for the Air Force Academy to swim for the Falcons, leaving Preston Jenkins to hold down the fort at home.
Kaleb Jenkins swam three years for AFA while Preston Jenkins stepped up his game at home. Fall 2012 brought Preston Jenkins to BYU, where he swam the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter IM. Kaleb Jenkins was in his senior year swimming the 100-meter fly, 200-meter breast and 200-meter IM.
At the MPSF Championship meet, both Preston and Kaleb Jenkins swam the 200-meter IM. Both were put into the same heat, and the brothers were put into the lanes next to each other. Both qualified for finals, and when finals came, both were put in lanes right next to each other.
“The only time we got to race each other was at conference; we swam right next to each other,” Preston Jenkins said. “It was interesting because he always gets out a little bit in front after butterfly, because that’s his best stroke. Then I passed him on back, and then he passed me on breast, and then I passed him on freestyle. My brother is a sprinter so the last stretch is the hardest for him, and it’s the best for me. I think our parents really liked it; we will never get to do it again.”
The best part? The only time they will swim together in their college careers, both swimmers obtained new personal records.
“That’s the best swimming experience I have with my brother, swimming at conference,” Preston Jenkins said.
Many Jenkins family members were in attendance for the races.
“Our parents and grandparents were there, and it was great to see everyone and swim with my brother,” Kaleb Jenkins said. “It was a good way to finish my swimming career.”