Leesburg (November 25, 2015) – Tuscarora High School senior Simon Shi has chosen to carry on his swimming career at Virginia Tech starting in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“I chose Virginia Tech because I loved the team enthusiasm in the swim team. On my official visit, I got a chance to see the swim team in action; they had an intrasquad meet at their home pool. Swimmers did awesome intros, including jumping off of the 10-meter platform and cheered for their teammates all the time,” the 5-foot-8 Shi said. “Virginia Tech is the place where I can pursue my long-term athletic goals as well as my academic goals.”
Virginia Tech’s main campus is located in Blacksburg and has seven undergraduate academic colleges and offers 116 bachelor programs. This 2,600-acre school also has more than 135 buildings and more than 31,000 full-time students.
The Blacksburg campus will also be home to Shi starting next fall. The Tusky swimmer started swimming when he was 7-years-old. When he was around 12-years-old, he began swimming with Nation’s Capital Swim Club, formerly Curl Burke Swim Club.
Shi ended his 2013-2014 swimming season as a two time finalist at the VHSL 5A state championships earning fifth place in the 200-meter IM with a time of 1:56.30 and in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 52.58.
“The swim team has a strong breaststroke team, and I will add more strength, and hopefully will score points for the team at conference and possibly NCAA level,” Shi said. “I would also be added to the medley relays for either butterfly or breaststroke. I could also swim either stroke on the relay depending on what the coach wants to put me in.”
The Tuscarora High School varsity boys swim team is coached by Kyle Gallo who is assisted by Dale Bostwick. Shi — who joins Woodgrove senior Kacey Hauck, Heritage senior Carrie Lee and John Champe senior Maddie Oliver as fellow LoCo swimming signees — explained that the Huskies’ goal for this season is to win the Conference 14 title and to bring eight of their swimmers to states.
“Being able to commit early is the best feeling ever. It takes a lot of pressure off my shoulder because I don’t have to worry about applying different colleges. This way I can keep focused on my swimming,” Shi said.
Shi has one last simple goal left: to make the U.S. Olympic Trials cut in at least one event. Because 2016 is an Olympic Year, Olympic Swimming Trials will be held in late-June followed by the Olympics in August. Shi is only two seconds away to qualify for the 200-meter IM. His first opportunity to qualify is the Arena Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas on January 15.
“Michael Phelps has always been my hero because he has done something nobody has done before,” Shi said. “He changed the sport of swimming so much and I am thankful for everything he has contributed to the sport.”