Lifelong passion leads senior to Yale

May 2, 2008 — by Ketaki Shriram

After 12 years of competitive swimming , senior Hayes Hyde has chosen to take her sport to the college level. After being offered a position on the swimming team at Yale University, Hyde has accepted the recruitment and plans to swim all four years of college.

Hyde began swimming competitively when she was four years old, but did not focus solely on the sport. She participated in numerous other sports, including gymnastics, dance, and baseball because she did not yet have a strong interest for swimming. This involvement ended soon after she began to swim with more intensity. The time invested in swimming by Hyde allowed her to consistently place in the top five at most tournaments.

By the time she was 15 years old, Hyde could swim the 50 meter freestyle event in 24.62 seconds. When she turned 16, Hyde’s 100 meter freestyle time was a remarkable 52.28 seconds. And when she was 17, her 200 meter freestyle time was 1:51. Her consistent performance and steady improvement attracted Yale as well as several other prestigious schools.

After participating in swim meets locally for a few years, Hyde decided to start competing at the state and national level. She received her first national ranking by age eleven, and has traveled to places such as Georgia, Indiana, and Southern California to compete in Junior Nationals.

“When I got to see college teams at nationals…I realized this is really something I want to do,” said Hyde.

After entering high school, Hyde switched from the West Valley College team to the DACA team, but kept one of coaches from West Valley. Hyde credits this coach with helping her to improve her swimming technique, something that has allowed her to become faster in the water.

Hyde is optimistic about her choice to attend Yale. After visiting Harvard, University of Pennsylvania and Yale, Hyde found that Yale’s overall atmosphere and swim team best matched her needs. She remains unsure of what her future in swimming will be, but Hyde knows that she will never stop the sport that she has enjoyed for nearly 14 years.

“I’m going to take it wherever it lets me go,” said Hyde.

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