April 25, 2020
1) How long have you been on YFD?
I have been on YFD for 7 years.
2) Why did you choose the school you will attend next year?
Next year I am very excited that I will be attending Syracuse University. Touring schools, I wasn't that sure where I wanted to go, but as soon as I visited, I knew that's where I want to be. Besides the tour, there were a few things that went into choosing Syracuse. I have always known that school spirit is very important to me. I love the campus feel that Syracuse has and the great sense of community, especially around their sports teams. I also value the strong communication and connection Syracuse has between the students, professors, and faculty and a strong alumni network.
3) Do you know what you want to study? If so, what?
Yes, as of now, I am planning on majoring in Psychology in the college of arts and sciences. I am not quite sure where I want that to take me yet, but I want to do research at Syracuse in abnormal psychology and maybe become an adolescent therapist for abnormal psychology. I also plan to minor in Personal Relations In Newhouse. I did an internship over the summer last year with a cosmetic PR company, and from that, I got interested in PR. I'm also not quite sure where that will take me, but I am excited to see where it takes me.
4) What is your favorite memory of being on YFD?
Over the years that I have been on the team, I have created so many amazing memories I'm not sure that I can pick a favorite. One of my recent favorite memories would be from Northeast Showcase last year. Since sophomore year I have been dealing with shoulder and wrist injuries, and last year it got to the point where I was kicking most of the season and could not drop in the 100breast. When I got to Northeast Showcase, I was extra nervous because I knew that it was the first event. Standing behind the blocks, I was so scared to swim my race. As soon as I got to the wall on my last lap, I looked at the scoreboard and saw that I dropped. Immediately I looked at Amine and Iliana and saw them smiling at me and giving me a thumbs up, which made me smile, and I was so happy and proud that I was finally able to drop. That was the beginning of a great weekend!
5) What is the hardest set you can remember doing?
One of the hardest sets that I remember was during one of my first training trips in Florida. It was a night practice at the long course pool, and Amine gave us the main set of 100x100s free, with the interval decreasing every 10 100s. I remember being in a lane with Sarah Green and Gavin Green we were so tired and working so hard struggling to get through it. At the end of that set, I remember being so tired, hungry, and glad that it was finally over!
6) What is your favorite Amine story?
One of my favorite Amine stories would have to be when we went on a training trip to Spain. On our last day there most people were so tired from all the swimming and working out they just wanted to rest and sleep in their rooms, but of course, Amine is always up for an adventure and asked if any of us wanted to explore the town. Emily and I jumped up right away, asking to join him and Coach Iliana. We walked into a cute little town with them and found all these cute little stores. We had a lot of fun popping in and out of all the stores and finding little treasures.
7) If you could go back in time and tell yourself something as a younger swimmer, what would it be?
I would say to my younger self to make sure I stay strong, healthy, and motivated, no matter what happens. I would also tell myself to take care of myself and my injuries appropriately. If you need to take time off to take that time off and come back slowly because trying to push through to get back faster might make it worse.
8) How did you balance academics and being a competitive swimmer?
I think that having to figure out how to balance swimming and work, starting from a younger age, helped me find the right skills I needed to be successful. It takes a lot of time management between the practices, school, swim meets, and school events. I used almost every free period in high school to do homework or meet with teachers to make sure I could be as productive as possible during the day. I also made sure to have good relationships with my teachers so that if I needed anything from them like extensions, if there was a big meet one weekend or something, I could work with them on that. Also, making sure that if I need to take a practice or part of practice off to get work done that I communicate with Amine if needed. I think that it can be very overwhelming at times, but by using all my resources can be manageable.
9) What is your favorite pre-meet meal?
The night before a big meet I usually like to eat penne alla vodka.
10) What is your favorite event, and why?
Even though I can't really swim it anymore, my favorite event is the 200IM. I like how it is still a sprint of each stroke, but by the time you're dead from one stroke, it changes to a new one. I also like how it includes all the strokes, and I think it's a fun event to swim.
11) What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
I think that one of my proudest accomplishments would be working through my injuries. After I got injured, I was able to find a new and continued love for the sport. I was able to work both with my doctors and Amine to make sure that I am still able to swim and be on the team but safely and healthily. I am very thankful that the coaches and my teammates were able to work with me and support me in getting better and help me stay motivated even when goals of mine had to be changed or adjusted.
12) Do you have any advice for the younger swimmers on the team who might want to swim collegiately?
Advice that I would give to younger swimmers who may want to swim collegiately is to stay focused and motivated and not to get distracted or worried about what other swimmers might be doing. I think that you have to find both a school and a team that makes you happy because at the end of the day if you're not enjoying yourself and not happy you might not do as well as if you were happy and enjoying the school and the team. Even though I will not be swimming collegiately, I do plan on joining the club team because they have their own competitive league. I feel that especially for my injuries and what I'm looking for as I continue and go on to college club swimming is the perfect fit for me because I'm not ready to give that part of my life up yet.