While we retreat to the
pool to escape the Central Valley summer heat, let us spend a little time
getting to know returning COS swimmer Josh Avila. Avila finished last year’s
season at the State Swim & Dive Championships with a personal best of
4:18.07 in the Men’s 400 Yard Individual Medley (IM); the event that combines
four different strokes. Going into the meet, he was seeded 12th in
the state and placed 11th at the May Championships.
Avila got an early start
as a Giant. Home schooled through 12th grade, he doubled-up to
finish high school early and start COS during the Fall 2013 semester. He is
interested in getting into business and hopes to finish at COS with a business
degree and move ahead to a school in the University of California system. His top
picks are UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego; Avila wants to stay in California.
The Visalia-native says,
“It all depends,” when it comes to swimming at the UC level. He may focus
solely on academics. Right now however, his goal is maintaining a good record
in his classes and his swimming. Although he’s not shy about the idea of
running for office, at least at COS. He comes by it honestly, inspired by one
of his three older sisters to try candidacy in the Student Senate. All of
Avila’s sisters are former Giants and all participated in some form or fashion with
Associated Student Body (ASB).
Swimming came naturally,
too. Avila says he started at about age six. “I just jumped into the pool and
started swimming,” he says. “Apparently I just knew how to swim right off the
bat.” By 11, he started on the Visalia Waves
Avila described the Championships
at East Los Angeles College as, “a tough challenge,” but speaking with him, it
becomes apparent that his “challenge” threshold is significantly higher than
most. Avila’s preferred swimming stroke is the breaststroke, but when COS
Swimming Head Coach Tracy Myers observed his endurance, she put him on the IM.
Swimming competitively for about five or six years, that fortitude built up
with year-round club swimming on the local TNT competitive team.
To future Aqua Giants, Avila says with hard work and practice, “After awhile you’ll start to be able to swim faster without trying so hard.”