By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, February 23, 2021–Hard work and dedication really does pay off if you are a swimmer.
Sarah Bedoya of South Florida Aquatic Club is a perfect example of that.
Bedoya, 13, a seventh grader at Glades Middle School, is having a breakthrough season.
At the SOFLO New Year’s Invitational at Academic Village Pool, she swam best times in all her events including a four percent drop in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:42.42.
“She is a consistently hard-working positive influence in the practice environment across the month,” said her Senior Development coach Jack Davies.
Her progression continued in February at the BC Developmental Challenge where she added the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley to her three other events (500 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) she had already qualified for this weekend’s BB Silvers Championship. She also qualified in the 50 butterfly but it’s not a 13-14 event at BB Silvers.
“A couple years ago I started improving and dropping time,” Bedoya said. “That’s when I decided to work harder to get better.
“I think it’s good to work hard so you can reach your goals. Sure I get tired, but then I just take a little rest and I will be right back up again.”
Bedoya has been swimming with SOFLO for five years. She learned how to swim when she was 2. She was involved with gymnastics and ballet before swimming, but decided to focus solely on swimming. It helped that her older sister Sophia, now in college, swam with SOFLO. She would go to her practices and watch the older swimmers.
“I always really liked the pool and the ocean,” Bedoya. “It’s fun to be in the water and feel like you’re light weight and not be dragged down by gravity.
“I would go to my sister’s practices a lot when my mom would go to pick her up. I loved watching them and see what they were doing. I decided I wanted to try it.
“It’s fun getting to spend time in the water with your friends training together. I like competing and seeing other people swim.”
Her favorite stroke is the backstroke. “I like looking at the sky and you can breathe easier,” she said.
Bedoya said she likes to set goals each year. This year she wants to improve her times.
“I want to drop time in all my meets and try to get best times,” Bedoya said. “I am definitely happy I am doing that.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic Bedoya has been doing virtual school on her computer at home. “It’s pretty good, I don’t mind it,” she said.
Like most of her teammates, she did virtual dryland training when SOFLO was out of the pool because of pandemic safety protocols.
“I was so glad when we got back in, I really missed it so much,” she said. “The virtual dryland was fun, seeing everyone. I am glad I stayed with it and didn’t get discouraged.”
Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack.
SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org