|Club||Marina Redfern||Sierra Silver Fins Swim Club||Tollhouse||CA|
|High School||Kelsey Fry|
2017 2nd Team All-League,
I have been a competitive swimmer since approximately the age of 5-years old starting on the Sierra Silver Fins Swim Club in Tollhouse, California. We live in a rural mountain community in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 2,600' elevation on 5 1/4 acres; above the larger towns of Fresno & Clovis. I'm a mountain girl, and they say around these parts that mountain girls are tough. Maybe we are tough because there is snow on the mountains when we are practicing swimming and water polo in our outdoor pool.
Our community is small and in my Senior year, we've fallen to below 400 students at Sierra High School. As compared to Fresno & Clovis teams that we compete against, we don't have year around club teams or AAU swim programs to compete in. My team has competed well against the larger schools this year with a 15-11 record, 9-3 in the league for the Lady Chieftains Water Polo team.
I swim, play water polo, belong to the Sierra Silver Fins Swim Club in the Spring & Summer and workout in the winter to stay in condition for my aquatic sports. I have been in Varsity swimming & water polo for four years. I've been the Most Valuable Swimmer for my Sophomore & Junior years for Sierra High School, making it to the Valley Finals for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Section in 100 yard Butterfly 2016-2018 in 2018 for the 100 yard Freestyle. I have also been the Captain of my water polo team at Sierra High School for the past two years, receiving the Coaches Award 2017-2018, Second Team All-League and First Team All-League for the North Sequoia League in 2017 & 2018. I have been named a Scholar Athlete for each of the years and semesters that I have played high school sports by the CIF.
I am of a diminutive size for aquatic sports, at 5' 1" and 105 lbs. My parents have always taught me to give my personal best; it's not about what other people do, it's about my knowing if I gave my best effort in swimming and water polo. My Dad is a retired law enforcement leader for the State and always told me about no pain-no-gain; as well as that pain is weakness leaving the body. Early on, I sucked at competitive swimming as I wasn't blessed with natural attributes that would make me do better for my size. As the years went by it became apparent that hard work and attention to the skills necessary to be successful enabled me to rise to the top of the competition in my region. While I won't be going to the Olympics or even be competitive at College Division I level in swimming or water polo; I have the drive and competitive spirit to outdo those who fail to achieve their potential. I am a driven and competitive athlete who wants to do their best at whatever athletic endeavor I choose to pursue and I'm a team player; which is why I've been our Varsity water polo team Captain for the past two years at Sierra High School, for the Lady Chieftains and have received numerous Coaches Awards.
For the 2018 water polo season, I was the #2 scorer for my team. I am the sprinter for my water polo team, with my competitive swimming helping me to win all but a couple of sprints to start each period. As I'm a Driver, I've scored many goals off of the opening sprint, as my Wingman, Mac knows I will keep going to the goal and if no one picks me up, it has been an easy one-on-one score vs. the goalie. As our Driver, I'm on the move a lot to create opportunities for my team to score and most of my scoring has been in close to the goal. On defense, I am solid and I can out swim most of my opponents and often have to pick up opponents who're getting away from my teammates when we transition from offense to defense. I've been swimming competitively since approximately the age of 5 and it helps a lot with my water polo game, as I'm really comfortable in the water.
Additionally, I tried out for California State Parks as an open water lifeguard at Millerton Lake State Recreation Area at the age of 16, the earliest you can get hired. The Lifeguard program is certified to USLA (United States Lifesaving Association) standards; meaning that I had to complete a 1,000-yard open water competitive swim in under 20 minutes and a 400-yard run-swim-run in under 10 minutes in frigid water. I did both competitive elements in well under the required times, interviewed for the job and was conditionally hired to attend the Bootcamp style training that I was sent to in 2017. The USLA certified training was extremely difficult and challenging both physically and academically. During my time as California State Parks Lifeguard, I've performed CPR, operated a bag-valve mask on a victim and have been on a dive-line for the recovery of two drowning victims. I perform my Lifeguard duties from one of the Lifeguard towers on the beach, patrol on a personal watercraft (PWC) and patrol by a vehicle with a rescue board on top. I also patrol the lake with one of the State Park Peace Officers as a deckhand. I have completed my California Boating Skills tests through the California Department of Boating and Waterways. I am certified through the State as an Emergency Medical First Responder.
In addition to the sports that I play, I have been a coach for the 5-6-year-old age group of the Sierra Silver Fins Swim Club that I still swim competitively for. I love teaching the younger kids, just as others my age helped give me the love and passion for swimming competitively. It is not about how everyone else does for the kids I coach, but did you improve and did you get a personal best time. I teach my athletes to learn to have fun, try new things and show continuous improvement; enjoy the time spent with your teammates.
I'm looking at college sports to give me the ability to pursue my passion for a career in a space-related engineering field. My parents need financial assistance in being able to send me to college outside of California and or to a private school of my choice. My parents don't want me to take on financial debt in getting my degree so that I face my career without college debt. My first choice is Aerospace Engineering/Astro-Engineering, totally towards the space side of the field. I will consider a college with Mechanical Engineering or similar that will take me to my space-based career. I intend to obtain my Master’s Degree and intend to obtain a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at this time. I have always had an interest in space, since building model rockets with my Dad and launching them; to viewing the stars from our mountaintop home through a 6" reflector telescope. I subscribe to Astronomy Magazine and have just begun subscribing to Sky & Telescope. Space is a barely explored frontier for humankind and I want to be a part of contributing to that exploration in some fashion. So while I will be a good athlete and give you my personal best in competition; my true passion is to become Doctor Brooke Buchanan in a profession exploring the universe.
Hopefully, my chosen school will someday say with pride that Dr. Brooke Buchanan swam or played water polo here; maybe not the greatest athlete, but giving pride back to the school through a successful career that the college afforded me through playing sports.
I have been a competitive athlete since the age of 5 when I started swimming for the Sierra Silver Fins Swim Club. In high school, I've played three sports; water polo, soccer, and swimming. I dropped JV soccer after my Sophomore year, after being team Captain and winning the Coaches Award, to focus more on my aquatic sports. I have been on the Varsity Water Polo and Swimming teams at Sierra High School for all four years. I like to compete and enjoy the camaraderie of my team. I am very intense in my studies; with my sports giving me a break from the classroom. I would love to continue being a competitive athlete in college if possible.
I am very active with Leo's Club, a part of Lion's Club International. I am a recruiter for Leo's Club. I participate in our Leo's Club project, Kases for Kids, which is filling suitcases with age-related items that kids would need when they're removed from their homes by Child Protective Services (CPS), through no fault of their own. Kases for Kids provides these children with something that belongs to them and they can call their own. The children are often in a bad and dangerous situation, which is traumatic for them. This is why I and my fellow Leo Club members drive the 40 miles one-way to assist with the Kases for Kids when called upon. Also, I'm President of the Robotics Team and a mentor to the junior high robotics team.
Just as I'm a leader in my clubs and organizing their activities, I'm a leader in sports, having been Team Captain for the past two seasons on my Lady Chieftains Water Polo team. It's not about telling people what to do, but leading by example and getting teams I’m involved with to work together on and off the field.
I pursue healthy athletic performance by being extremely well organized in my studies, along with maintaining good eating habits. I have maintained straight A's in high school and I currently have a 4.3 GPA, which doesn't come easy if I wasn't organized. I just got my grades for Fall 2018 Semester and I again maintained straight A’s; not sure if my GPA will change.
In addition to sports, I play the violin, auditioned for and made the regional Fresno Youth Philharmonic Orchestra 2015-2018, which practiced every Sunday for 2 1/2 hours (I dropped it this Fall). Also, I take dance and tumbling classes and work in the Spring as a State Parks open water lifeguard.
I learned early on to maintain a calendar of my free time, school assignments, tests and when I need to study or work on what's most important for school. Procrastinating wouldn't work with all that I have going on for my studies, so it's imperative to plan ahead so that the available time I do have for studying is used effectively. Eating healthy is also important, which is why I always have a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat and fish; in addition to drinking plenty of water. I also strongly believe that getting a good nights sleeps helps me to be a good athlete on the field and a good student off of it.
It is important to give back to the community through community service organizations and personal initiative to help others. I am very involved in Sierra High School's Leo's Club and the service projects that we have taken on. The most important project is Kases for Kids, where we travel approximately 40 miles to Fresno, to organize suitcases for kids. The suitcases are filled with toiletries, clothing and personal items based upon a child’s age and sex. My Dad is a retired law enforcement leader and my Mom is a 4th grade teacher in an economically depressed area, so I had heard about kids being removed from their parents by Child Protective Services (CPS) before becoming involved with Kases for Kids. I totally get how children being removed by CPS and placed into Foster Care, would be a horribly traumatic situation; not to mention the circumstances leading up to their removal from their home. In some small way, my volunteering time to help make this process a little better for the children placed into CPS better, is the very least I and the Sierra Leo's Club can do for the less fortunate children among us.
I also volunteer my time through the Sierra Leo's Club, to help out at Project Survival Cat Haven, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near our school. Project Survival is a labor of love, to help save the apex predator big cats globally. Project Survival raises money and awareness about the plight of the big cats on earth. Volunteering to help with the upkeep of the Cat Haven, allows the organization to spend their time and money where it can be better used, helping to save the big cats and placing new cats back into their former habitat.
It's important to me, to give back to my community so that in some small way it makes where I live and beyond a better place.