By YooJin SHEEN, intern
uring the first week of April, selected swimmers from YMCA swim teams from across the U.S. gathered at Greensboro Aquatic Center, North Carolina to participate in the Y National Competition. Regarded as one of the most prestigious and high-level competition in the YMCA community, this year’s Y Nationals showcased nine talented swimmers from the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA’s Dragons.
From Rosemont Middle School was Yvette Kim, the youngest of the pack, who participated in the competition for the second time this year.
“It was an overall great experience to be able to travel with my club team for a week at Greensboro and race against swimmers from all over the country,” she said of her participation in the Y Nationals.
Yvette is an eighth grader at Rosemont. She first began swimming at the age of 2 in a “Mommy and Me” swim class. She joined the CCY Dragons when she turned 6 and has since been a part of the team.
Her daily routine centers on improving her speed and technique in swimming.
“I practice four to five times a week, each [session] about three hours long,” she said. “My best strokes are freestyle and butterfly and, in events of those strokes, I usually place in the top three at meets.”
Yvette was selected by Southern California Swimming to be a part of the 2012 NACC (North American Challenge Cup) Team and 2014 All Star Team to represent Southern California. She was also selected to compete in the All Star Festival hosted by Southern California Swimming.
“I was able to go to the SCS National Top 10 banquet twice [2011 and 2012] by invitation for placing in the top 16 in the state in my events for the 10-and-under age groups,” she said.
Her records are impressive for a middle-schooler. She broke the meet record of Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist) in the 11-12 girls 50-yard freestyle at the 2012 Y championships. She also set a meet record at the SCS Club championships, a qualifying meet that ends the whole short course season, in the 13-14 girls 100-yard butterfly.
“I’ve had good and bad seasons and a lot of ups and downs, but I love swimming. I plan to keep pursuing the sport and working to perform at my absolute best,” she said.
Apart from being an exceptional swimmer, Yvette is also actively involved in her academics and the community. She has played the piano for five years, practices tae kwon do, and attends Korean school regularly. At Rosemont, she is in her second year for CJSF (California Junior Scholarship Federation) through which she attends and partakes in a variety of community service events.
“I’m also looking forward to starting high school season next spring!” she added.