Cougar of the Week: Jack Han

Steven Castiglione, Scarlet Staff

Jack Han (‘20) is a member of the men’s Tennis and Cross Country teams. Originally from Calgary, Han now resides in San Francisco. At Clark, he is on a pre-med track and is a member of the Pre-Health Society and Clark University EMS.


Scarlet: How has playing for Clark Men’s Tennis been?

Jack: Overall, it has been pretty much what I expected. We are a pretty competitive team playing against other pretty competitive teams. The team has had a lot of close matches this semester. They haven’t always been easy, but winning a close match is always a great feeling.


Scarlet: You’ve been involved in close, competitive doubles matches against Babson and Nichols. What aspect of doubles matches do you find to be Clark’s strengths and where do we need improvement?

Jack: Our doubles stats are very mediocre, especially compared to our singles lineup, which is a lot stronger. All of our players know how to play singles. Our top player is a great doubles and singles player, but we only have one of them. The match against Babson was a really tough match; it was 8-6 and it was against their number one doubles team. I think they have one of the best doubles teams in our conference.


Scarlet: You came to clark to play tennis, but you also joined the cross country team. What made you decide to join that team, and how do you find the time to manage both sports, school, and a social life?

Jack: I did talk to the cross country coach, Bill Gray, before I came to Clark, as well as my tennis coach, and my tennis coach encouraged me to play both tennis and cross country. I ran cross country for the first time my senior year in high school and I ended up doing really well, thanks to a great coach. Although I didn’t have the greatest of seasons in the fall, I will be pursuing cross country again. There are practices now, but tennis has taken over and I’ve decided to focus on tennis. I think it’s best to focus on one sport at a time.


Scarlet: Where do you see the team going in the NEWMAC tournament?

Jack: I think we can make playoffs this season. We’ve lost one of our good players, so we will have to fight for a seed. Hopefully if we can get a round or two, then I’d say we’ve done a great job for the team we are this year.


Scarlet: What has been your favorite memory of the tennis team this year?

Jack: Well, coming on the team I’ve met so many great people. The captain has been a huge influence on me; we have good communication. My favorite memory is when we played Ursinus College, our last match in Florida. That match, I ended up clinching it for the team, and we came back from being down 3-0 after doubles [matches]. We ended up winning our match 5-4, and we won against Ursinus. That was a great way to end.


Scarlet: Is there anyone who got you into tennis, or was this something that you pursued on your own?

Jack: My dad started playing tennis in his thirties and the first time I picked up a tennis racket was around nine or ten years old, which is relatively late compared to some people on the team. I didn’t really take tennis seriously until I was 13. I used to do swimming and violin, but once I began playing at least once a week, and then twice, and soon I had a coach; I decided to put all my focus into tennis.


Scarlet: You play with both Lenny Siegel (‘18) and Vladislav Tomalchev (‘18). Is it normal for a tennis player to be familiar with multiple doubles partners at the collegiate level?

Jack: It’s not normal, some of the best doubles partners have been playing together for years at a time. Once you’ve practiced and played together long enough you can figure out what each of your strengths and weaknesses are, you learn what plays each one is good at making, and which type of styles of playing.


Scarlet: When you are not practicing or at a match, what do you like to do in your free time? Are you involved in any clubs or organizations?

Jack: I am a pre-med track, hopefully declaring as biochem, but currently undeclared. I want to eventually go into dental and studying consumes a huge chunk of my free time. I’m involved with EMS and the Pre-health society.


Scarlet: What has been your favorite part about Clark so far?

Jack: The small campus makes it very easy for things to get around. I also really like the food in the dining hall and the Bistro. I know a couple people on campus who don’t like it, but I don’t mind going to the caf and eating and doing work in there sometimes. Something I’ve been realizing this semester is how approachable the professors and staff are. I visit my professors and I feel so much better and familiar with the material after seeing them.


Scarlet: Has there been anyone on the team who has been really impactful on you this season?

Jack: The senior captain, Jimmy Keogh (‘17). He’s helped show me the ropes of tennis and college. He as well as Lenny Siegel have been mentors for me. Everyone on the team has had an impact on me and I am really appreciative to be a part of a team with so many great individuals.


Thanks for the interview, Jack!