I started gymnastics when I was 6 years old, and soon discovered that I'm very competitive and thrive in individual sports settings that force me to excel under pressure. While I loved gymnastics and competed for 5 years, my body grew out of the sport. I still loved pushing myself to be fearless and accomplishing new skills, which led me to diving. My mom found a diving camp at Notre Dame, but wanted to make sure I would enjoy the sport before signing me up. I attended a practice to see what it was about, and I found that I really liked it. The coach (who still coaches me to this day), Caiming Xie, told my parents that he saw a lot of potential in me, and advised that not only should I sign up for the camp, but I should start diving for his club immediately. Ever since that day, I feel like I've found a home at that pool and in the sport (even though it turns my hair green and I sweat chlorine).
I went to a small, private middle school with a graduating class size of 36 people, but in high school, my current freshman class size is over 400 students. This was a huge transition, but with these many people in my grade, let alone my school, I wanted to make sure I really stood out. Even before classes started, I joined the soccer team. Soon after that, I helped assemble a Mock Trial team which we found great success in, placing 2nd at Regionals and 6 at the State competition (highest ever placement at the Indiana State competition for an all-freshman team). Up next was my first high school diving season. This brought another highlight to my freshman year, being one of only two people on my Swim and Dive team to qualify for State along with earning the title of team captain by the end of the season. After the high school diving season ended, my parents and I discussed taking a break from high school sports until the next soccer season. Although that was the plan, one of the track coaches at my high school sought me out, and told me I should join the team. I had little to no idea what track was all about, but almost my whole life has revolved around sports and competition so I decided I would give track a run. Once outdoor season rolled around, I knew I wanted to try pole vault. After one practice, I was hooked. Even after only one season, I've found that I have a great passion for vaulting as well as diving. It's been a busy year, but I feel like I've already had great success academically and athletically and am looking forward to challenging myself in years to come.