Two seniors to swim at college level

December 15, 2010 — by Tim Rollinson

Science teacher and swim coach Kristen Thomson started receiving letters from schools chasing seniors Adam Hinshaw and Justin Chung as early as last winter.

So instead of waiting on the fateful decision of the college, many colleges were waiting on the decision of these two boys, and it came earlier this fall. Next fall Hinshaw will be attending UC Berkeley and Chung will attend Carnegie Mellon.

Hinshaw chose Cal over several other options including Virginia, USC and Stanford, and will join his brother, Ben Hinshaw, who graduated in 2009 on the Cal swim team. Chung had narrowed his choice down to Pomona College and Carnegie Mellon.

“Adam and Justin are two of the most talented swimmers I have ever worked with,” said coach Christian Bonner. “I have no doubt both will flourish in collegiate swimming.”

Although the interest came early the NCAA prohibits coaches from talking directly to athletes until after their junior year. When the deadline passed calls came in from all over the nation.

“I never knew so many schools had interest until I started getting contacted,” Chung said.

Both athletes have been swimming since early childhood and the college decisions marked a huge step in the future of their respective swimming careers.

Hinshaw, a distance freestyler, has had major success with Saratoga High as well as with his club team, Palo Alto Swimming Association, or PASA. He won the 500-yard freestyle at CCS last year, his first individual victory after five top-10 finishes.

Chung, who specilaize in the breaststroke and backstroke, swims with Hinshaw at PASA and has also had great success in his Saratoga High career. His fifth place finish in the 100 yard backstroke at CCS was a major accomplishment for Chung.

Hinshaw chose Cal for the prestige of the program, the educational opportunities and the overall feel of the campus. The swim team is on the rise with the top recruiting class for 2011.

“I want to be swimming with the best,” said Hinshaw. “And I will be at Cal next year.”

Chung recieved interest from several coaches but was sold on Carnegie Mellon after visiting the campus.

“The team, the coach and the campus were all incredible,” said Chung. “And the prestige of the school was also a factor.”

The two may have college in their grasps but they still feel they will have huge contributions to the team this year. They list a top five team finish and multiple individual and relay CCS titles as goals for the coming season.

“It’s going to be odd not swimming with Justin next year,” said Hinshaw. “But we still have one season left.”