2014cerave Bluefish swimmer
Courtesy of: Heidi Torregroza
By Swimming World intern Heidi Torregroza

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, January 11. EIGHTH grade is one of the most crucial years of an adolescent's life when it comes to deciding what they want to do in the future, especially if it has anything to do with sports. After working hard from a young age, there is no looking back. Most of the eighth graders at the 2014 CeraVe Invitational have a good idea of what they want their futures to look like.

Jordan Chen, 14 years old representing Scarlet Aquatics, focuses on setting goals for himself and claims they are one of the biggest aspects of his success.


"Every time I accomplish one goal, I set myself another (one)," he said.

Jordan is thriving in the eighth grade with the majority of his best friends on the team. He said all of want to take their talents to a college swimming pool and beyond.

Audrey Brecher, 13 years old from Bluefish Swim Club, says "the feeling after finishing a good race" is what keeps her going.

Rebecca Zeiger, one of four talented sisters, is one of Audrey's best friends. She has friends outside of Bluefish but she says most of them are on her team because they spend a lot of time together. One of her biggest goals is getting into a good college for swimming.

These are just three out of hundreds of young athletes who have similar visions for their future. Most swimmers here want to take their talents far past just the CeraVe Invitational at Rutgers.

Although the sport can seem fun and easy when watching Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin win medals in the Olympics, all of that success starts in pools like these, with kids who have exactly the same dreams surrounding them. There's no such thing as success with no anchors along the way, but not much is holding these swimmers back from achieving their goals.

The decisions they make now can decide what a lifetime of swimming will bring them.