Erica Cromwell, Monticello High School
Background—when did you start swimming? How did you get started swimming? What teams have you swum with?
I started swimming for the Monticello rec team when I was 5 and for Decatur Swim Club when I was 6. My older sisters were really into the sport and when I got bored watching them practice for so long, I decided to join also. I've swum with Monticello, Decatur, the Kenton County Clippers in Kentucky, and of course, THE AQUACHIEFS :-)
Are you excited about your final year of swimming with Monticello High School and the Aquachiefs? What are your swimming goals for the year?
I'm ecstatic about this year, both for school and swimming. I haven't made it to high school state yet, so I would really like to qualify for that, and get the YNat cut in something other than the 50 free. Basically though, I just want to have fun with a great team.
What are your plans for college? Will you swim? What do you plan to major in?
Right now I'm sending off my applications, and I've looked at both schools I'd swim with and ones where I wouldn't. Right now University of Tampa's at the top of my list, and I'd be part of the swimming Trojans there. I'd like to major in physical therapy, but working at Sea World as a dolphin trainer would be a great experience also so I'm keeping that in mind.
Word on the street is that you're interested in warm-weather schools. What schools are you looking at?
I've visited seven colleges in Florida and Georgia, but I narrowed it down to Tampa, University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I've also applied to the University of Illinois and Illinois State in case I want to stay closer to home.
You are the only swimmer for Monticello High School. How do you psyche yourself up for the Sectional swim meet?
Even though I'm the only swimmer from my school, I've always had my "Independent Women" at Sectionals. For Sectionals, no matter how much you try to psyche yourself up, the atmosphere just blows you away. There's no way you couldn't be excited at that meet.
What have you learned from swimming, besides how to move through the water like a dolphin?
There are so many lessons that have come from swimming. Time management, overcoming major obstacles and disappointments, and how to throw out fashion and shaving rules. But I'd have to say the most important one is that you'll have much more fun if you just embrace who you are and stop worrying what others think of you. We all know that swimmers are an, ahem, unique breed but when that shines through, the possibilities are endless.
What’s your favorite movie? Favorite food? Favorite place?
I'm horrible at favorites, I love everything! Raising Hellen, Bend It Like Beckham, Hardball, Moulin Rouge, Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers, Shawshank Redemption and Ferris Bueller are a few movies; Dos Reales, the Olive Garden, O'Charley's, Bahama Breeze, and my mother are cooks from heaven; my favorite place would either be in Ft. Lauderdale for YMCA Nationals or in Hawaii. Both places are paradise.
What is something about yourself that people might find surprising or interesting?
My soccer teammates and coaches call me "Terminator" because I'm very aggressive and charge at the other team's players and just lose myself in the game.