Our September 2016 Spotlight Athlete of the Month is 16 year old Priscilla Tsang, a senior at St. Francis High School in Los Altos, California. Priscilla is a 4 year member of her high school’s swim team, where she competes in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 100 free, and the 50 free. She has been swimming recreationally since the age of three, but began to compete competitively during her freshman year of high school. Since Priscilla joined her high school’s swim team, she has made her mark not only in the pool, but in the hearts of her teammates and opponents. During her sophomore year, Priscilla was awarded the Steve Yamamoto award, which is given to the swimmer who embodies qualities of sportsmanship. She understands that there is so much more to having a positive athletic experience than just getting a win. In her own words, she says “Winning races isn’t everything. As long as you put forth your best effort, you have already won.” Great advice for athletes young and old. We are proud to honor Priscilla Tsang with our September 2016 Spotlight Athlete of the Month, and we look forward to following her throughout her upcoming swim season.
Priscilla was recommended to be our Spotlight Athlete of the Month by her coach, Ms. Molly Boesiger. Ms. Boesiger told us that Priscilla stood out not just because of her amazing athletics skills in the water, but because of her “determination, humility, and work ethic.” Last year, Priscilla suffered a “nasty” ankle injury that caused her to have surgery and to cease training for a period of time. But that did not deter Priscilla’s spirit. She returned to the pool, committed to getting back to her best swimming self. In doing so, she not only picked up where she left off, but she improved her 50 free time by over 5%! Her goal for the upcoming swim season is to continue improving by dropping her 50 free time to 27 seconds, as well as her 100 free time to 1:03. Practicing 4 times a week for over 2 hours, we know that Priscilla will cut those times and we, at Top Choice Athletics, will be watching and cheering her on.
There’s no surprise that Priscilla’s favorite athletes are Michael Phelps and Ning Zetao. Both swimmers are decorated champions that have been individually tried and tested and victorious. Both are also integral parts of their team’s relays, a position that Priscilla can directly understand. Priscilla swims first leg of her team’s 200 free relay. She recalls one particular contest where in her heat, the competition was strong. She knew her and her teammates would have to swim their best race to make it to the finals. She remembers seeing and hearing family, friends, and other competitors cheering her and her teammates to victory. They came in first in their heat. It was an amazing experience, one that Priscilla will never forget. It’s not always about the individual races won. It’s about the races where teammates have to come together and support each other in order to make the first place finishes worth wild.