When did you start swimming for NAC?
I started swimming for NAC when I was 5 years old. My family had just moved here from California, and my mom wanted us to meet other kids. A family friend recommended us to NAC and we have been swimming here ever since!
You’re back in Nashville this summer training with John and Doug in Senior 3 and also helping coach SwimFit 1. Why do you want to give back to NAC in this way?
I wanted to coach at NAC because I believe in this program. I have seen what it can do for athletes who are willing to put in the work. Coach and Doug have spent so much time working with me in and out of the pool. The coaches are focused on pushing the athletes to be the best they can be. Coach and Doug (along with the entire NAC staff) also take time to help athletes refocus after painful setbacks. NAC shaped my life. It gave me amazing friends, a strong work ethic, and a chance to go to an amazing school (TCU #gofrogs). I feel incredibly honored to coach at such an amazing program.
Was there a specific moment (a race, a training trip, a practice, etc.) that you realized that swimming was your thing, and NAC was the place to do it?
I have two moments where I realized swimming was my “thing”. When I was in 6th grade I was in the Stars and Stripes meet (as I had not made my music city cuts). I was in an early heat of the 100 fly, but I clearly remember finishing ahead of everyone. I had dropped a large amount of time earning my music city, southeastern, and sectional cut (this was the one year we went). I remember the next week at practice the coach (Bryan Welter) pulling me out of the water and telling me if I continued to work hard I could earn a spot on a relay at Southeasterns. The second moment was at the Lakeside meet in 2012. This meet is outdoors and unfortunately for us it was thunder storming and cold the whole weekend. I had managed to make it into finals that night in the 200 fly seeded 3rd (thanks to the fact most people scratched). When the race started adrenaline and a sense of peace overtook me. This was the first race that I felt like I was flying in the water. I dropped time and won the race. I knew then I had found my race and I wanted to be good at it.
You’re still swimming at Texas Christian University. How did NAC prepare you for your college swimming experience?
NAC did an amazing job of preparing me for college swimming. Coach and Doug were very helpful during the recruiting process. Meeting before and after practice to discuss college coaches and team programs. The intensity of NACs practices prepared me to have a good work ethnic and continual focus. Doug and the sports psychologist (Abby) stressed the importance of positive mindset and a team oriented attitude. From previous graduated athletes (NAC alumni) I was able to learn about college programs and the difference from club to college practices. They were an excellent resource at the beginning of school as I adjusted to my new home.
Last question: Favorite NAC memory… Ready, go!
This question is close to impossible to answer as I have way too many good memories with NAC. One of my favorites that always makes me laugh is the day Doug fell in the pool. He was tightening the lane line and it wouldn’t tighten anymore and he fell in. The entire team just started laughing as we all looked over and saw Doug in the pool. Another great memory would have to be Saturday afternoon practices when they would play music. Everyone there always just seemed to swim fast. The music was fun and everyone just seemed to really enjoy swimming. Then afterwards in the locker room someone would hook their phone up to a speaker and we would have dance parties.