Isabella Di Salvo of South Florida Aquatic Club is the Nike Swimmer of the Month for August.
DiSalvo, 12, a seventh grader at Somerset Academy, is known for her work ethic in and out of the pool.
“Isabella trains incredibly hard,” said SOFLO Bronze Group coach Rose Lockie. “She is very dedicated to practice. If she has to leave practice early for whatever reason, she will usually come to the pool early in order to get her workout done.
“She just does what she is supposed to do,” Lockie said. “She is one of the top female swimmers in Bronze. She never gives up a set, no matter how hard the set is.”
The Florida Gold Coast and team record holder learned to swim when she was five and started competing at age 7. She was also involved in dance including ballet and flamenco but has since focused on swimming as her main sport.
“I started lessons because I wanted to be safer in the water,” Di Salvo said. “I really liked it so I started swimming competitively two years later.”
Di Salvo has been a member of the SOFLO family for four years.
“I have improved in swimming since I have been here,” Di Salvo said. “My parents encourage me and I really like the sport. I push myself, too.”
Di Salvo is one of the team’s most versatile athletes swimming nearly every event. Her favorites are the 100- and 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke.
“I like setting goals for myself and I like seeing myself accomplish them,” Di Salvo said.
Di Salvo was ecstatic about her swims at the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics at Plantation Aquatic Complex. She medaled in all her favorite events.
“I came first in the 200 backstroke which I was really happy about; third in the 200 butterfly, one of my favorite events; and third in the 100 butterfly.”
Di Salvo is dedicated whether it’s in school or in the pool and manages her time well. After school lets out in the afternoon, she heads to the pool. She does some of her homework in the car while waiting for her sister to finish her swim practice.
“I really like swimming because it keeps me in shape,” Di Salvo said. “I have made a lot of friends at the pool because of swimming. It also helps me be strong which I really like.”
She said her swim heroes are Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and SOFLO teammate Alia Atkinson and is motivated to follow in their footsteps.
“I want to improve my times and make myself a better swimmer and be No. 1,” Di Salvo said.
DiSalvo joins other SOFLO Swimmers of the Month sisters Kathleen and Molly Golding for January, Sebastian Sierra for February, Jessica Rodriguez for March, Leonardo Mateus for April, Rafael Rodriguez for May, Valentina Carrion for June and Erika Pelaez for July.
The Nike Swimmer of the Month award, chosen by the SOFLO coaching staff, is awarded each month to the swimmer who excels at both swim meets and practice sessions.—Sharon Robb
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com