As she dives into the water, she has only one thought on her mind. Winning. The sound of the roaring crowd fades into the background. Her mind is on each stroke she makes. As her fingers touch the wall, she emerges from the water with a triumphant smile. A CIF champion.
This is the typical scene for girls varsity swimmer senior Christina Vu, who has competed in countless meets and events. Vu already made an early decision to accept a swim scholarship from the University of California San Diego, where she will continue to swim competitively.
Vu began swimming at the age of four, taking beginner level lessons at Industry Hills Aquatic Club. By the time she was 12, she was already swimming for the Brea Aquatics club.
“I continued to pursue the sport because I loved how it was an individual sport. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. At the end of a hard practice, it just feels so rewarding knowing that I’ve just completed a difficult practice that will eventually benefit me in my future meets,” Vu said.
By the time Vu entered varsity swim as a freshman, she, along with three others, became CIF champion in the 200 free relay.
“I remember going to that meet with no idea of what I was capable of doing. I just really exceeded my expectations in that relay,” Vu said. “I think I’ve definitely improved since freshman year with my technique and that I’ve really just gotten stronger. I’ve also gained a lot more confidence, and that’s really helped to motivate me during races.”
Vu made the early decision to swim for UCSD next fall for a number of reasons.
“When I went on the recruiting trip for UCSD, I just felt like the team was really close with each other and that the coaches were really nice. I think I will be able to improve on my swimming from the workouts they offer and become a better swimmer overall,” Vu said.
Vu has already set goals to improve on her times and win Conference, and hopes to achieve them by finding a balance between schoolwork and swimming.
“I think I’ll definitely have to work on time management in college because I’ll have to be able to balance my 24-hour practices a week and studying [for] school,” Vu said. “Swimming on the college level will definitely be different from swimming on the high school level just because it will be so much more competitive. There will be much higher expectations for me.”
By Michelle Chang, Staff writer