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Diving in head first
by Garrett Valenzuela
Nov 26, 2012 | 2418 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ashlyn Edmondo
Ashlyn Edmondo
SPARKS — Ashlyn Edmondo remembers well the day she traded in her softball mitt for a pair of goggles and a Speedo swim cap. The letter given to her by her swimming coach travels with her to every swim meet and she is reliant on it for motivation.

“She told me to never put swimming down and that I have great potential and I should pursue swimming in the future,” Edmondo said. “That is one of the major reasons I continue to swim actively and competitively.”

The Reed High School junior is in her third year of swimming at the school and is currently using a club team to stay in shape for the upcoming season. She said her days spent at the Alf Sorensen Community Center, when she is not working on homework, are where she finds the most solace.

“The real stress reliever is once I get in the water,” she said. “The best thing is jumping in and sitting at the bottom of the pool and realizing this is my home, this is where I am supposed to be and where I can let everything go and not have anything affect how I swim.”

Edmondo manages a full schedule, including three Advanced Placement classes and an Honors math course in her pursuit of higher education. While her plans to swim in college are almost ensured, she said being a well-rounded student and swimmer will be her ticket to her college of choice.

“My whole thing is I want to be well-rounded for academics and for swimming; and colleges don’t just look for people who can do a 100 meter breaststroke in a super fast time. They want someone who can do it all,” Edmondo said. “I enjoy doing everything in swimming and if I can do open water and distance I think they will like that.”

Edmondo has taken her talents to the open water in California, competing in the Tiburon Mile race in the Bay Area to keep her skills sharp. On the home front, Edmondo competes in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke races as well as distance races like the 500 meter, 1,000 meter and the mile.

The 16-year-old swimmer has yet to decide where she would like to attend college but she has her options on the table. Linfield College, a small Division III school in Oregon, is a viable choice for Edmondo, but her heart is leaning toward a spot near the mountains.

“California is also an option for me and my parents want me to stay close to Nevada, but over the breaks I have really been looking into Colorado State University,” Edmondo said. “They have really been pressing me. I love the little small-school atmosphere that Linfield offers, but I really want that Division I experience, and I am an avid skier so Colorado would be a good fit for me.”

When asked of her academic plans for higher education, Edmondo said she is used to having such an odd reaction to her fine-tuned career path.

“People are always really surprised with me but I already have my major and minor set,” Edmondo said. “I want to minor in Nursing and I want to major in Interventional Radiology.”

Edmondo said Interventional Radiology will give her a chance to work closely with patients rather that just examine X-rays.

“I found (working closely with patients) really interesting because I am more of a people person and I like helping people out,” she said. “I think it would be really interesting to try to help in third-world countries and to travel the world, but if not, I will likely stay close to the mountains.”

Edmondo continues to aid the community of Sparks through school and personal endeavors by participating in community service projects. Although she tries to keep her life “as normal as possible” outside of swimming and school, she feels motivated to help those who are less fortunate than her.

“I guess that is how I have been raised. My parents have always taught me that I need to give to others who can’t give back to me,” she said. “Both my grandmothers always said too, that I need to do whatever I can to help those people who are having a hard time because they are still human and may be going through rough circumstances. That is the way I look at it now.”
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