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Athlete of the week: Charles Yang ʼ19

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Charles Yang, a junior standout hailing from Naperville, Illi. has started off the 2017-18 Men’s Swim season hot. Yang primarily focuses on the 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 50-yard backstroke for his events. In a recent Dec. 2 meet against Ursinus College, Yang finished first overall in the 50-yard freestyle, with an impressive time of 21.86 seconds, just 0.13 seconds off of his personal best in that event. The men’s team is currently 4-0 and seems to be on track to try and repeat as Centennial Conference champions. The team is back in action at West Chester University on Dec. 8.

Ping Promrat: What is your intended major, and what motivated you to pursue it?

Charles Yang: I am a math major and a psychology minor. It is kind of nerdy, but I’m really interested in math. I think it’s extremely applicable to a lot of different professional fields, which is nice for someone like me, who is not completely sure what he wants to do. I’ll be done with my math major after this semester, which is really nice.

PP: What got you into swimming as a kid? What inspired you to pursue swimming at Swarthmore?

CY: My parents forced me to do swimming. I hated it, and it sucked when I started. To be honest, it really is a grind all the time. I was really lucky to be recruited by a school like Swarthmore, and although it might be hard, I absolutely love my team, so I’m glad I stuck with it.

PP: What is your favorite and least favorite part about being a student athlete?

CY: Being a student-athlete at Swarthmore is really about balancing the time you spend on your respective sport with the time you spend on the academics here. While it’s tough, and I’m always really tired, I hope that participating in a sport at the collegiate level will pay off in terms of life experiences.

PP: What are your personal goals and goals for the team for this year?

CY: Personally, I hope to make nationals in my events. As a team, I hope we get two relays to nationals. This would mean we would send at least eight people to nationals, which would be fantastic. We are currently ranked in the top 20 in the nation. We just made it into the top 16 for relays, so it is very possible.

PP: What is your favorite swim team tradition?

CY: We do a cheer before every single meet, regardless if it is a home meet or an away meet. When we are at home, it goes something like this: “Whose house is it? This is our house. We must protect this house.”

PP: If you could change one thing about Swarthmore, what would it be and why?

CY: I don’t know who I am to say what things should or shouldn’t be changed about Swarthmore, but something I think that really bothers me is the disconnect between the student-athlete and non-athlete population. I wish there were more respect for the athletic community, and the time and commitment that I know that I put into my sport.

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