Eva Guo swims her way to Carnegie Mellon

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By Ariana Vernon and Kristen Zhou, Staff Writers

After a tough application process, senior Eva Guo has been recruited to swim for Carnegie Mellon University’s women’s swimming and diving team. Carnegie Mellon, known for their science and technology programs, boasts several teams in NCAA’s Division III.

Initially, Eva joined a team to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, so her love for the sport took a while to manifest. “I hated it at first. Having to dedicate hours every week to swimming back and forth in a pool had no appeal to me,” said Eva. However, as she progressed and began training for competitions, she “came to enjoy the sport for how it’s both individual and team-focused.” She began to idolize athletes like Michael Phelps, achieve goals, and make lifelong memories. “My favorite memory would be my first time qualifying for the Eastern Zones Summer Championships in 2012… That marked [the accomplishment] of the first goal I’d ever set for myself and proved to be the first of many,” said Eva.

At Townsend Harris, Eva shined as a key contributor to the success of the swim team and as a co-captain in her senior year. Dominating events like the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley at dual meets, she performed at the same level in citywide meets like the PSAL “A” Championships. At this meet, she qualified for the New York State Championship meet in Ithaca in her sophomore, junior, and senior year.

Before her senior year, Eva expressed doubts about continuing the sport at the collegiate level, only considering it an “extracurricular.” While she was sure about completing her final season with the Turtles, the decision to reach out to coaches came with more thought. However, after receiving her official acceptance letter from CMU, she was “ecstatic.” In the end, she “couldn’t help but be excited about forming new bonds and connections with a new team.” Alongside her new team, Eva will be joining her older sister, a current sophomore on Carnegie Mellon’s team. In terms of sibling rivalry, Eva knows that being around someone so familiar will help drive her. Eva said, “She’s a hard worker and diligent, so I’m definitely motivated to do the same and make each other proud.”

Her hard work is evident to her coaches and peers, so it was not surprising for them to hear of her recruitment. THHS swimming coach James Jordan said, “I thought she was a winner, so I’m not surprised she got recruited.”

“She is the spirit of our team. She always swims her hardest at practice and at meets, which inspires the rest [of the team] to do the same,” said senior Lucia Lin, one of her teammates.

Although our school is known for academics, many athletes have been recruited by colleges, and excel at the collegiate level. Athletic Director Lauren Caiaccia said, “I think it’s really awesome for our school to have student-athletes that continue to compete at the college level. At the college level, generally, they recognize on their rosters the school and the hometown that these students came from so that’s really neat to see that.”  In addition, Ms. Caiaccia aims to show these athletes’ achievements. “It would be great to say ‘hey they’re [college athletes] representing what they learned here and the team atmosphere they had here and bring that to the higher level.’ ”

Reflecting on her high school career, Eva expressed her gratitude for her team. “Swimming may not be the biggest sport at Townsend, but I have the Turtles to thank for some of the best memories I’ve ever made, for working hard alongside me, and for supporting me throughout high school. That being said, I am beyond honored and proud to be able to represent such an exceptional team in college.”