Five questions for men's senior swimmer John Blackburn

John Blackburn ’17 (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), men’s swimming and diving

1. You are from Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. What was attractive to you about Colby?

I chose Colby because it was a school that would allow me to achieve academically and athletically. I wanted to pursue environmental science and I knew Colby was a school where I could work interactively with my professors and my peers.


2. You are a member of the a cappella group The Blue Lights. How did you get involved?

My singing career began junior year of high school when my sister and friends convinced me to try out for the school musical "Grease".  I was cast as Danny Zuko and since then I've loved singing. So I came to Colby knowing I wanted to join an a cappella group.

3. You are a freestyle swimmer and hold three school records with teammates in the 200 medley relay, the 200 freestyle relay, and the 400 freestyle relay. Are those the highlights of your Colby swimming career or something else?

Those relays were definitely huge highlights. It was really exciting to be a part of those (200, 400 freestyle relays) for the seniors at the time and it was huge in motivating me and the rest of the team to swim fast. 

4. The athletics photographer took swimming photos this year[KC1]  of the team getting pumped up before a dual meet. You were right in the middle of things -- is that something that you have always done or is that a new thing this year?

I've been leading the cheers for the past two years. Going into my junior year I was asked by my coach and teammates if I could take on the responsibility of pumping up the team because I'm a loud and enthusiastic guy. Leading the cheer has been something I look forward to every meet because it's a fun way to contribute to the team. Nothing gets me more pumped than when coach says, "Blackburn, get them going."

5. You are an environmental science major and have a minor in managerial economics. What are your plans after May graduation?

Right now my plans for after graduation are to travel to Africa with my family. I'm hoping to use my degree to pursue a career in sustainable business or environmental consulting.