My first experience with competitive swimming was on a recreational team. I found swimming lots of fun and had some success at the recreation level. Going from recreation to YMCA club and then to USA swimming were major steps with ascending levels of competition. Each time I rose to the challenge to become a better swimmer. I have yet to plateau or stop improving. I am always searching for ways to better myself as a swimmer and as a person. I am extremely coachable in trying new techniques and training methods in an effort to improve. My times continue to improve and what was yesterday's goals are now today's standards. I love competition. It's not about beating my opponent so much as it is about improving and bettering myself to the point where I can surpass my limits. Improving as a swimmer, becoming stronger and faster, making podiums, winning more races, and qualifying for higher level meets continues to motivate me, and is the drive for why I continue to swim today.
My school offers the opportunity for me to swim for both USA club team and the High School team. I have enjoyed the dynamics of both teams. The High School team has a greater emphasis on the team score and working together to achieve team goals, while the USA club team has a more individually focused experience. This year I was honored to be selected as a team captain chosen by my teammates. As team captain, I strive to bring everyone together, provide encouragement at both practices and meets, and lead by example in the effort I put forth in swimming and academics. My junior high school year has been challenging. I trained very hard to meet the required time cut and swim at Junior Nationals, only to get sick with Whooping Cough and injure my back the week of the target qualifying meet. This not only impacted my ability to make Junior Nationals in December of 2018, but was a significant setback towards my Junior High School Season. My drive, competitive spirit, and my team have helped me get back where I expect to be going into the major swimming events this spring at both High School and USA Swimming. Through experiences like this, swimming has taught me how to set goals, deal with failure, and the commitment it takes to achieve my goals. What I learn through swimming I apply to academics and other aspects of my life. I am taking several advanced placement classes in math and science in preparation for college. In college, I want to pursue a degree in science or engineering.