Faces of the Sunshine State Conference: Jeb Halfacre
It is often said that true happiness can only come from doing what you love. If that’s the case, then welcome to the life of Jeb Halfacre, where doing what you love is the only thing worth doing.
Halfacre is currently a senior at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, where he has swam for the past three years, yet he is much more than your average swimmer. Halfacre is a three-time NCAA national champion, as well as a three-time NCAA national relay team champion.
For the past two years, he was selected as the Sunshine State Conference Male Athlete of the Year. In his junior year alone, Halfacre won the Division II national title for the 200-yard backstroke and was a member of both the 400-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle national champion relay teams. At the close of the 2011-2012 season, Halfacre was also named an All-American swimmer in a grand total of six events, which include the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard medley relay, and the 800-yard freestyle relay. He was also an Honorable Mention All-American in the 200-yard medley relay. His numerous awards as a junior also include being a Counsilman Hunsaker National Division II Male Swimmer of the Week, the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Swimmer of the Year, an All-SSC 1st Team member, and recipient of the Most Valuable Player Award on the Moccasin swim team.
No matter how many awards and accolades he receives, however, Halfacre isn’t overwhelmed; in fact, he prides himself on being happy, dedicated, and doing what he loves. “I don’t get nervous,” he explains. “I don’t enjoy getting serious about a race until I get behind the block.”
Although it may seem impossible to believe, enjoying the difficult art of swimming at the collegiate level is something that Halfacre feels is easily done. “I don’t [swim] to get awards or anything. I do it because I enjoy it,” he says. “I enjoy what I do. I enjoy waking up early and working out, seeing my teammates and being with my team. I have fun.”
His success speaks volumes unto itself, yet Halfacre is still modest. “I would have to say that my biggest asset is my team,” he says. “They help me through different struggles that I go through in swimming and in life. We all go through the same pain. If I don’t do well, not only do I let down my team, but I let down my best friends.”
Not only does Halfacre have a strong bond with his team, but he has a strong bond with his coach, Duncan Sherrard, who has coached Halfacre for the past 12 years and is proud to be the coach and friend of such a great student-athlete. “It’s been wonderful watching him grow,” says Sherrard. “He’s gone from a little kid who likes to have fun to a young man at age 22 who is serious about school and swimming, but he doesn’t view swimming as a job. He wants to get better. It’s a great asset.”
The future looks bright for Halfacre, who will be diving into his last season as a collegiate swimmer this fall. His name is forever in the record books, and it is clear that his last season as a Moccasin has the potential to be his best yet. No matter how successful he is, however, it is obvious that he will enjoy each and every race and each and every practice.
After all, happiness comes from doing what you love.
About the author: Katie Gwinn recently completed a summer internship with the SSC office. A senior at Saint Leo University, Gwinn is majoring in communications management. She is the President of the Student Government Union at Saint Leo and has interned for the Lion athletics communications department since August 2011. A former student-athlete that is truly passionate about writing and sports, her dream is to become a writer for Sports Illustrated.