Vallejo Aquatics Club strongly believes in building for life after High School. VJO's ultimate goal is to grow and progress Student - Athletes to become successful both in and out of the water. Over the past 65+ years, VJO has been fortunate enough to develop and have had worked with many tremendous athletes and people, to this day. VJO wants to build and maintain a culture that supports pursing aquatics in college and beyond. The club is proud to have had many student - athletes see success in their careers ranging all the way from swimming in the Olympics to swimming in all levels of College Swimming (D1 - D2 - D3 - JUCO). 

Below are some testimonies from VJO Alumni on their experiences with Vallejo Aquatics Club and what the team meant for them and their growth inside and outside of their time at Cunningham Pool. We are always excited to hear from our alumni and want to do as much as we can to keep you all part of our VJO Family. If you are interested in giving a testimony or possibly getting on our newsletter email list to keep up to date with our program, please email us with your testimony and current contact information. Thank you VJO Alumni! SHARKS FOR LIFE!

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** : Indicates they swam in college.

Athletes from VJO :

"VJO became a huge part of my life when I joined the team in High School. I worked at Cunningham Pool during the summer months teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. It made perfect sense to swim for the team and continue my improvement. I previously swam for a Summer League Team (Benicia Stingrays) and moving to the VJO practice schedule was a big adjustment since I had never swam on a year round team but working with Coach Chris was exactly what I needed to get to the next level. It took some time to build up my strength and endurance but the support from the Coaches, my Teammates, and the families was exactly what I needed. I had grown up swimming with my sisters and although I was the only one in my family to pursue swimming, the families on VJO were incredibly supportive of all the swimmers, and I always felt as if I were a part of a big extended family. Because of the experience I had on VJO, I was even more confident that I wanted to swim in college. I contribute a lot of my time at UC Davis to the time I spent at VJO. Without that experience, moving into college athletics would have been much more challenging of a transition and I'll forever be grateful for the time I had working with Coach Chris and swimming with some incredible teammates."
Ashley Cayford**, University of California - Davis

"Being a long time member of VJO, I can't stress enough how much it gave me a second home and second family that I could lean on. VJO gave me a chance to build a ton of friendships that I still carry on to this day. Through the sport of swimming, it gave me a chance to have experiences and stories that I am truly greatful for. This team and this sport has taught me so many great values and I can't be thankful enough for everyone that has been a part of this family - past, present, and future."
Donny Mata**, Diablo Valley College & University of Pittsburgh

"When I think about my time on VJO, three words always come to my mind: fun, friendship, and family. I joined VJO when I was 11 years old and fairly new to the sport of competitive swimming. VJO played a huge part in helping me achieve my goals to swim collegiately, and I could not have ever imagined how far this sport would take me, had it not been for my caoches and teammates. There was never a dull moment on deck. All the laughter and fun I had with some of my closest friends made practices that much more enjoyable. This sport and the team are a huge part of who I am today, and I am so grateful for all of the memorable experiences. I hope the future sharks are able to find the same fun, forever friendships, and family as I did with Vallejo Aquatics Club."
Elina Rosario**, University of Pacific

"VJO was where I learned to conquer my fear of the water. I hated swimming at first and couldn't even put my head under the water in swim lessons. Fast forward to today and I'm happy to say that if I hadn't give the water a chance, I would have never found the friendships and experiences that swimming gave me. That all started with VJO!"
Justin Lynch**, University of California - Berkeley

"I joined VJO as an older age group swimmer and swam with the club through the end of High School. VJO quickly became my social center, support system, and a place to train hard and swim fast. The families and coaches always made me feel welcomed, supported, and enabled me to grow as an athlete. Even in the years after high school, the former coaches would check in with me as I navigated through College Swimming. When I think back on my years with VJO, I remember the 4th of July parade, team spirit at R.E.A.L.'s and spending time with friends (both on VJO and other club teams). VJO has always had a deep community spirit, which makes it a special place for everyone who participates."
Kathryn Jovino**, University of California - Davis

"VJO set me up with the foundation that I carried with me through all of my college life and career. Swimming and Water Polo took me to a college where I was fortunate to swim and play water polo at a Collegiate level. The leadership I learned as a team captain led me to be a team captain as well for both of my college teams. What VJO gave me was a work ethic, leadership, time management, friendships, resilience, motivation, and independence. Without those foundations, I would not be where I am today. I carried those attributes with me to the Peace Corps and now with my current career."
Mary Welton**, Chapman University

"VJO made up a lot of my childhood memories. On VJO, I don't remember swimming endless laps. I remember carpooling with my brother and his teammates after school to practices, having hot chocolate & potlucks after practices and playing sharks and minnows after begging Coach Tuffy or Coach Chris. My brother and I felt like we were a part of a family. I still keep in touch with our old teammates still today. I don't remember the hard times during practice or long swim meets. What I truly remember are the card games we'd play in between meets, finding out you're in a relay with your best friends, helping write your events on your hands with Sharpie, and screaming the loudest at your teammates to swim faster. In that sense, VJO brought out the best in us to cheer our loudest, swim our fastest, and have fun! I wouldn't have asked for another team to experience my best childhood memories on. I hope VJO does that for all future Sharks as well."
Megan Bicomong**, University of California - Santa Barbara

"After joining VJO Aquatics at the age of 10, it was clear that swimming would have a substantial impact on my life. VJO shaped the groundwork for both my competitive swimming career and post - athletics journey. The team helped me realize at a young age that I wanted to go to college and that this sport could help me do that. It provided a community with innumerable role models, proved that consistency and grit can lead me to achieve my goals, and left me with friendships that I still have many years later. Most importantly, it was fun! Vallejo Aquatics was a safe place to go to after school, be with friends and burn off some much needed energy."
Taylor Riley**, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo

"I started swimming for VJO when I was around 7 years old and it was one of the best decisions my parents made for me. I ended up continuing the sport throughout high school and as a collegiate athlete at the University of Pacific. VJO has taught me the basics of being a strong athlete, but more importantly the team will always have a special place in my heart for laying the foundation of who I am today and how to be a good human being. I learned how to be a great friend, how to resolve conflicts, how to connect with people from all different cultural backgrounds, and how to encourage myself and others to accomplish goals. Growing up, it was the pool, my coaches, my teammates, and their parents were a consistent safe haven in my life during periods that were difficult in my life. I still have friends to this day (20+ years) from the team and am forever grateful for this organization and all that it brings to the city of Vallejo."
Zoe Coles**, University of Pacific