The Echo

Freshman takes home State title

Hayden Zheng receives individual medal in 100 breaststroke

Muna Ali

Having swum competitively for eight years, freshman Hayden Zheng said he ended this year’s season with an individual State title in the 100 yard breaststroke.

“I thought I did really well at this past State, you know, getting the individual State title. I was very happy with that,” Zheng said.

Boys’ swimming head coach Amanda Forsberg has been Zheng’s coach for two years and said he is a hard-working team player.

“He’s an essential part of the team. He’s a great team player and he wants everyone else around him to get better,” Forsberg said. “He puts in a lot of effort and hard work which other swimmers see as well, which is helpful because they see if you put in the hard work, you can achieve your goals.”

Zheng said his older sister inspired him to swim when he was younger.

“I guess it would probably be my sister, she’s six years older than me, and she’s been swimming a lot, and I just like watching her and it just kind of got me into it,” Zheng said.

According to Forsberg, Zheng improved greatly this season and broken multiple records.

“He won the 100 yard breaststroke at State which was, I think, a goal for him going into this year. Last year he had finished fourth. He also finished third in the 200 Individual Medley (IM) state, and I know that last year he finished ninth, so he improved greatly,” Forsberg said. “He took down a couple of his own records this year, he also took down some in his off strokes, which was fun to see and fun to watch.”

Zheng said he likes swimming because it’s challenging nature pushes him.

“I think that probably the best is that it pushes me a lot, basically to my limit. Plus I really like the challenge,” Zheng said.

According to Zheng, he hopes to pursue swimming through college while staying devoted to his academics.

“I mean, I think we’ll see where (swimming) takes me, but I also am really proud of my academics, so we’ll see where swimming takes me.” Zheng said “I’ll be continuing to swim until college.”

Forsberg said she believes Zheng’s hard work paid off and he has a bright future ahead.

“He did very well, I mean he won the 100 yard breasts, and you can’t do any better than winning so, he was excited, I know the team was excited for him, but like I said, he put in a lot of hard work and it has paid off.” Forsberg said. “He’s only a freshman. He’s got a lot of time ahead of him.”

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Freshman takes home State title