Athlete of the Month: Nicole Saengtawesin ’18

photo by Aaron Wu

In her first season away from club swimming since the start of her career, Nicole Saengtawesin ’18 has spent the 2017–2018 season focused on her commitment to the PHS team.

Saengtawesin began her swimming career as a fourth grader and has been a part of a few club teams, namely X-Cel and White Water. She joined the PHS team her freshman year, where she has competed in the 200-meter individual medley, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter relay, and 400-meter relay.

Over the past seasons, especially now since she swims full-time for PHS without a club team commitment, Saengtawesin is entrusted with numerous leadership roles that help the team to run smoothly.

“It’s really important to have at least one captain who is not a club swimmer [because] she is there every single day at practice managing things, getting ready for meets, [and] figuring out psyches,” said Co-Captain Emily Curran ’18.

“As a captain and as a leader, I definitely look to Nicole as someone who can get practice started and get things going,” said Head Coach Carly Misiewicz.

Out of the water, Saengtawesin takes her leadership to the next level, adding greatly to the team spirit by organizing psyches and energetically cheering on her fellow swimmers at every meet.

“She’s a big team cheerer [and motivator]. She’s always at the end of people’s lanes cheering us on … people really respect her,” Curran said. “She’s helped to create an atmosphere that has fostered team bonding and a greater chemistry.”

Saengtawesin also puts in the extra effort as a leader by bringing the team closer as a unit.

“[Saengtawesin]  is definitely someone who’s very involved in … meets [and] makes sure she gets to know everyone on the team,” Misiewicz said. “In meets, [she’s] leading cheers [and] making sure people are involved … from start to finish.”

Something that has contributed to Saengtawesin’s heavy involvement with and love for the team has been the adversity she has overcome and the steady progress she has made since her freshman year. This process has involved everything from showing up to practice everyday to eventually competing at the Mercer County Tournament.

“One of the hardest things was making it to every single practice … It takes up quite a lot of time,” Saengtawesin said. “What kept me going was seeing my times improve … It’s nice to see all your hard work is paying off. I was [eventually] able to get 10th, 11th, third, and fourth [at the MCTs].”

Misiewicz also recognizes Saengtawesin’s improvements over her career and was able to see the fruit of her labor as a coach in Saengtawesin’s success at MCTs after seasons of hard work.

“[Two years ago,] she came in slightly outside of 12th … We had little things to work on [like] a better start [and] a better turn,” Misiewicz said. “It actually made all the difference. She ended up making it back and scoring and placing at [the MCTs].”

After a long career of ups and downs and lots of hard work, Saengtawesin has her sights set on once again placing at the MCTs, as well as continuing her swimming career into college.

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