Feature by Megen Donovan
SARATOGA, California, October 14. TOP California male recruit Tom Kremer plans to stay in state when he begins college next fall. His final three choices are California, Southern California and Stanford. While he enjoyed his recruiting trips, Kremer said that it is going to be a tough choice.
"They were really informative and fun," he said. "The visits are only making the decision harder."
Kremer, who is looking for a solid balance when it comes to academics, athletics and his social life, wants to swim for a program that is going to help him reach and surpass his potential.
"I really want to be in a program that not only pushes me to my best, but also helps me enjoy the process," he said.
Peak Swimming head coach Abi Liu said Kremer is one of the hardest workers on the team. Throughout the eight water workouts and five dryland workouts each week, Kremer pushes through the challenging sets. Kremer takes his training regimen further with Pilates and spinning classes.
"He is one of the hardest workers," Liu said. "It's pretty brutal and challenging to the upper limits. He works really hard with that."
She enjoys watching Kremer and his teammates push each other in practices. They are all very competitive, which she feels makes the practice that much more effective.
"They feed into each other and it makes practice a lot better quality and a lot more fun," Liu said.
Recruiting trips, however, tend to cut in to training time. Liu and Kremer work around this potential setback. She said he works with her to make up practices, even doing workouts while on college visits.
"He's a very driven kid," she said. "Even when he's on recruiting trips, I would send him the training sets and he would do it by himself."
His performance and work ethic during practices leads to Kremer's high expectations when he gets to a meet. However, the pressure he places upon himself tends to benefit him come race time. For example, his dual citizenship with Israel allowed him to compete at the European Junior Championships this summer. He was the only Israeli swimmer to medal, when he received the Bronze in the 200 meter butterfly.
"His expectations for himself are really high," Liu said. "He does better under more pressure."
Kremer feels that his experience at meets such as the European Junior Championships or Grand Prix meets will help in the long run as he moves on to swim in college.
"These meets…have helped me tune out who my competition is by helping me ignore previous times, stats or achievements of others," he said. "I try to focus on my own race and not let the past psych me out."