At 12 years old, Los Banos native keeps breaking records in the water

LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) -- At just 12-years-old, James Savage has accomplished more in open water swimming than most people will in their entire lives.

"I pretty much swim for a living," Savage said while sitting on a dock at Los Banos Creek Reservoir. He trains there five days a week starting at 5 a.m. During the school year, he then heads to class, has a break after school lasting an hour or so, then hits the pool.

Some days, he's in the water for six hours.

Savage first grabbed headlines when he swam to Alcatraz and back, becoming the youngest person to do so at the age of eight. He's been hooked ever since.

"Yes, he's a busy kid," said his mother Jillian Savage. "He said 'when's the next one?' So we took him to the next one, and the next, and the next, and now we're here every day." You can usually see Jillian paddling a canoe next to James as he swims, providing him with food and water to keep him fueled.

Savage's most recent accomplishment happened a bit closer to home, as he became the first recorded person to swim across the San Luis Reservoir. The lake is located to the west of Los Banos and spans more than seven miles.

His aspirations are even gaudier than his accomplishments. This summer, Savage will swim a stretch of Lake Tahoe that spans more than 10 miles. He wants to eventually swim the length of the lake running north to south, spanning more than 23 miles.

When he's older, he hopes to compete in the open water Olympics and swim the English Channel. For now, he's content to keep adding to his resume.

"You're never too young to do something... as long as you tell yourself you're not going to quit, you can do it," Savage said.
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