Athlete Feature: Joshua Tran


Sophia Li, Staff Writer

Although it may seem straightforward, competitive swimming is not an easy feat, as it requires strength, mobility, and endurance. One student-athlete at Arcadia High School (AHS), junior Joshua Tran, seems to have been able to hone down these skills.

Tran is on the AHS Varsity Swim team, as he has about six years of competitive training swimming background under his belt. Tran especially loves to swim the 100 Freestyle and 100 Breaststroke. However, swimming this fast didn’t always come easily for Tran, as he started swimming as a new sixth grader. In the beginning, practice was strenuous as Tran tried to find his place. Just like the rest of us when we start something, he was nervous about how he was going to fit in, make friends, get good, constantly compare himself to others who have been swimming for years, and scraped through practice each day.

However, one swimmer in particular, Joshua Mar, made Tran’s road down this sport more trouble-free, as he took Tran under his wing and taught him to try his best. Swim meets can get extremely hectic, but this swimmer stuck by Tran’s side and made him feel comfortable with the team.

In regards to the older swimmer that encouraged him, Tran said, “I truly started to feel that I did belong to the team. It was him that I aspired to be like, and I even started setting goals for myself, which I have never done before. When he raced, I watched as he zipped through the water like a dolphin and finished first almost every time. From then on, I pushed myself to improve one day at a time and developed a motivation to be as fast as him.”

All those years of hard work have culminated, and now Tran’s ready to take on the 2022 season. As the season’s training starts up, Tran hopes to make his mark in the pool at meets like the Pacific League Meet. Nowadays back to in-person school, how does Tran train to perform at his best in and out of the pool?

“Training for swimming is very rigorous. For the AHS swim team, we have practice five days a week during sixth period and after school, as well as morning practices at around 6:30 a.m! I have had to sacrifice a lot of time for my swim commitments, and even had to cancel various events or other activities because of a swim practice or meet. However, when I look back at how much I’ve grown as a person from it, I can only smile at how far I’ve come,” Tran said.

However, it doesn’t just take commitment and sacrifice to be a stellar student-athlete. Tran also aims to give back to his community, through his skills that he has gained as a swimmer and leader. So, how does he accomplish this, as a star student athlete, balancing extracurricular activities, academics, and his own well being?

“Staying up late to finish homework or study for tests after a long day of swimming has been a cycle that has definitely taken its toll on me for years. So, this past summer, I worked as a swim instructor at Waterworks Aquatics, combining academics with swimming. Through teaching, I had a newfound appreciation for the sport. This opportunity also allowed me to become a better “star student athlete”, and to lead kids down the right path to become one themselves,” Tran shared.

Looking back on his six years of the sport, Tran has come so far. Six years provided new experiences, challenges, failures, success, friendships, memories, crucial life lessons, and personal growth.

When regarding how swimming has shaped the person who he is today, Tran shared, “In compassion to the reserved and sheltered 6th grader I was at the time when I first joined the swim team, I now have a competitive drive, desire for team spirit, and appreciation for the teammates around me. I have developed a proficiency with time management over the years. I have also grown in my social skills and leadership through my time as a swim instructor. In the end, being a swimmer has led me to further discover what I value, my limits, and who I am as an individual.”

As Tran said it best, “I am forever thankful.”


Photo courtesy of Joshua Tran