Committed swimmer: Meet Kristina Glavas Hopes to compete professionally one day

Gracefully swimming towards the end of the pool at the Zones competition, sophomore Kristina Glavas moves her body swiftly keeping a steady pace. “My goal when I swim is always to make my teammates and myself happy,” Glavas said. “After a long day, it really helps my mind relax and allows me to focus just on this rather than anything outside my life.” Photo Credit: Kristina Glavas

Diving into the water, sophomore Kristina Glavas tactically moves her body to win the practice race. She lets her nerves go as she enters the water and reminds herself to be fearless and do the best she can. As she reaches the end, she comes out of the water to look at her time and thinks of ways she can improve her technique and style. 

For more than six years, Glavas has been swimming with the Sandpipers of Nevada almost every day before and after school. 

“I started swimming six years ago and it was my dad who thought it was a good idea,” Glavas said. “He took me for tryouts and I immediately fell in love with the sport. Now I have practices at the Palo Verde pool or Desert Breeze about nine times a week.”

Being able to swim with famous competitive swimmer, Cody Miller, made Glavas really strive to be the best at swimming because of how graceful and persistent he was at the sport. 

“Cody Miller, is one famous swimmer I look up to because he was able to win a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics,” Glavas said. “He swam with my team when he was younger and I was able to pick up on some of the techniques he was trying to teach us which made him an even bigger inspiration.”

After a long day at school, Glavas goes swimming to help release all the tension that builds up throughout the day. 

“Swimming is important to me because I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become a habit and helps me cope, but when we have hard sets it can also be very difficult,” Glavas said. “But for instance, after failing a nursing test one time, the swimming practice I had after helped me get my mind off of it for a little.”

Years of hardwork and commitment have allowed Glavas to improve techniques and learn difficult tricks such as a cross over turn.

“One of my proudest moments has definitely been winning sixth place at the junior olympics in Irvine, California against so many competitive swimmers because all of the hard work paid off,” Glavas said. “But, I’ve been swimming for a long time and one of the hardest tricks I had to learn would be the cross over turn, but now it’s quite simple and helps me transition into other moves and I feel like I’m genuinely improving my skills.”

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Glavas has not been able to go to the pool making it difficult to practice. 

“COVID-19 has impacted me a lot because my practices are being cancelled and we have to stay at home,” Glavas said. “I am trying my best to stay in shape as much as I can by running and exercising frequently as home.”

Although Glavas loves swimming, it has affected her social life due to her schedule and rigorous practices. 

“When I first started swimming it was kind of difficult because I was unable to see my friends as often since I was always at practice,” Glavas said. “I’ve had to figure out how to deal with both my social life and professional life and because of that as I progressed in the sport I don’t get to hang out with them as much as I would like.”

To be a good swimmer, Glavas also has to care a lot about her diet so that she can stay fit and healthy.

“In order to be a good swimmer I really have to try to avoid eating out, which is a mistake I have to focus on,” Glavas said. “I try to keep a healthy diet and workout, but when it comes to hanging out with friends it’s hard too.”

By working diligently, Glavas hopes that swimming will get her to colleges such as Pepperdine and one day wants to pursue it professionally. 

“My main goal is to swim for college and from there I want to see where it takes me,” Glavas said. “My coach is very supportive and so is my team, and by swimming, I am able to get in contact with many professional swimmers which is helping me decide my future goals.”

Would you ever want to pursue swimming professionally?