Athletes of the Issue: Caitlyn Chow: Aquatic Adversary
Caitlyn Chow ’19 has been a powerful force within the Hopkins Girls Swim Team for four years.
Chow came to Hopkins in ninth grade and immediately knew that she wanted to swim as a Hilltopper: “I started to swim when I was eight and I only started because my sister swam. However, I knew I wanted to swim because it relieves all the stress that I have and relaxes me.”
Chow battled a lot of struggles in her career as a swimmer at Hopkins. “I was diagnosed with tendonitis in both of my shoulders in tenth grade and in my ankle my senior year. The tendonitis made it really hard to swim again once I got better because swimming is a sport in which you need to constantly practice in order to continuously get better. Tendonitis made me skip practice for a whole month and skip parts of sets in practice so I would not further injure myself. I felt like I was not getting better at swimming but I worked hard and constantly dropped time every year despite my multiple injuries,” she said.
Head Coach Chuck Elrick said, “She worked hard even with her tendonitis. Most people would stop but [Chow] worked hard and used a pool buoy so that she could keep practicing. She always wanted to get faster and be the best that she could be.”
Chow’s teammates and coach said that her love and dedication for the sport leads to her successes and excellent leadership of the team. Co-Captain of the Girls Swimming team Beth Hartog ’19 said, “I think that [Chow] really shines as a swimmer in relays during championships and big meets. Sometimes, swimming can feel really individual, but when someone else is counting on you, you feel required to try harder than you ever thought possible. [Chow] has the team in the back of her mind at all times during a meet and throughout the season in general, so I think when she gets up to race with other people behind her, her competitive spirit and her talent really shine through.” Elrick agreed, “Swimming is an individual sport, in that, there is one person actually competing but a team sport because of the motivation the team needs to give the individual in order for them to do their best. [Chow] sets a really good example by motivating her teammates to do the best that they can.” Not only has Chow earned a varsity letter the past four years, but she also placed ffth in last years Bud Erich Championship.
As a Co-Captain of the Girls Swimming team at Hopkins, Chow tries to make practices as fun as possible for her team by making sets as enjoyable as possible: “I try to make sets that aren’t just swimming non-stop. Instead, sometimes, my co-captains and I organize mock meets so that the team can practice their skills in a competitive environment. We try to get our team into the meet spirit which is really fun because everybody cheers everyone on.”
Hartog described how Chow can lead her time with both an iron fist and an open heart, “I think [Chow] does a really good job of determining when to be a friend and when to be a leader. She always knows the right time to step up and lay down the law when necessary but still maintains great relationships with everyone on the team.... I know that I always feel free to talk to her and I think that sentiment is consistent throughout the team. No matter what, she can give you advice and help you out when you reach out.”
With Chow’s successful career on The Hill and her love for the sport, she hopes to continue swimming after high school.