Whenever there’s a swim meet at Mills, senior swim team member Chelsea Baumgartner is there, cheering for the opposing swim team and her own in equal measure.
Then when it’s time to race, Baumgartner takes that positive attitude to the water.
Two weeks ago Baumgartner proved maintaining a positive attitude in and out of the water produces great results by achieving her best time by five seconds in the 50 meter backstroke. The weekend race highlighted Baumgartner’s commitment to her team.
“I was really proud of myself,” Baumgartner said. “I’m really glad for all the support I got from my team and my coaches to get to where I am today.”
Baumgartner has been swimming competitively since eighth grade, and has been a dedicated member of the Mills swim team for the past four years. In that time, the swim team has met for over 400 practices, and according to her swim coach, Baumgartner has been present and ready to work for over 95 percent of them, which is an unsurprisingly amazing attendance record for such a determined athlete.
Swim coach Neil Virtue was more impressed by her positive attitude than her swim times.
“If I had a team of Chelseas I would have the easiest coaching job in the world,” Virtue said. “Her motivation, attitude, work ethic, and willingness to push herself is rare and has been an inspiration to the team.”
Baumgartner said she was not sure why the last race was such a success for her.
“Frankly, I think that not worrying about the race made me go faster because I didn’t over think it,” Baumgartner said.
Virtue had a different theory. He said that Baumgartner was “always ready for the set, asking what do we do next and always willing to step up to any swimming challenge that gets put in front of her.”
Despite all of these challenges that competitive swimming has presented her, Baumgartner pushed through it all and encourages any aspiring swimmers out there who may be thinking of joining the swim team.
“Do it!” Baumgartner said. “Don’t worry about the time commitments, you can always find a way to make you life work around swimming. I’m very lucky to be a Cyclone.”