UNIVERSITY PLACE Colonel Jason Friedman, an Army neurologist stationed at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, has a house rule for his children growing up that they have to be active in at least one sport to maintain physical fitness.
At first, his twin sons, Garrett and Troy, tried soccer. But like their father and their mother, Janet, the two brothers, as well as their older sister Emma, became involved with swimming and water polo when they were in the fourth grade. And just like their parents, all three took to swimming naturally.
“I guess it was just fate,” Jason said.
Maybe it’s runs — or in this case, it swims — in the family. Both parents were club swimmers while attending Bainbridge Island High School and went on to their respective colleges. With Emma currently attending Oregon State University, the twins have already helped Curtis High School in University Place win the boys’ state water polo championship.
With the boys’ swim season in progress, both Garrett and Troy have qualified in the 200-yard individual medley event for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 4A Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championship at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Feb. 19-20.
“We both plan on swimming in the IM and at least two of the relays,” Garrett said.
Their coach, Dennis Piccolotto, believes they have the right combination of dedication, focus and hard worth has helped them in building toward a chance to medal in not just the 200 IM, but maybe a few relay races and individual races like the 100-yard breaststroke.
But the twins aren’t the only ones who have shown a true dedication to the swim program at Curtis. Both Jason and Janet have attended as many of the dual meets as possible for all four years and also help with concessions and organizing team fundraisers.
“Janet is kind of the mom I go to if we need supplies or training gear — shirt orders and suit orders,” Piccolotto said.
For both Jason Friedman and his wife, it’s because of the love they have for their children and for the sport that they have been drawn to supporting the Curtis program. They had the same passion for the youth sports their kids have been involved with since they the military family bounced around between for the last 10 years — Texas, Maryland, Georgia and now Washington.
“We want to make sure the programs they’re involved with are supported,” Jason said. “We really believe in what these coaches do for the kids. It’s natural for us to fall in and give the support that we can.”
The old saying goes “like father, like son,” and that goes beyond the swimming pool. Garrett and Troy are currently maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages and have started applying for a number of collegiate scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship.
Both have applied to a few schools in California and even their father’s alma mater at Princeton University in New Jersey. However, there might be a little bit more extra to stay local and attend the University of Washington — even though they haven’t received an acceptance letter yet.
But it has been nice for both brothers to have been able to enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest for so long after moving around.
“I’m definitely glad that we are staying in one place for most of our school years,” Troy Friedman said. “I don’t have many memories of the other states.”