Sumner Chmielewski is a swimmer with the Sarasota Tsunami. Chmielewski committed to Brown University on July 9.
When did you start swimming competitively?
When I was 7 years old, my older sister (Laine Chmielewski) started swimming. Me, being the younger sister, I wanted to be like her, so I tried out for a swim team as well. I have done it ever since.
What is the appeal to you?
I honestly think the best part of swimming is training and pushing yourself each day. You test your limits and then see it pay off at meets when you drop time.
What is your best stroke?
My best stroke is probably the butterfly. I think over time it just happened. I used to swim a lot of backstroke when I was younger but for some reason butterfly has given me my fastest times recently. My worst stroke is definitely breaststroke. It is more of a timing stroke and I just can’t figure it out. (Laughs.)
What has been your biggest challenge?
I think the hardest part of swimming is the mental aspect of it. Sometimes after a meet, if I don’t do that great, going back to training can be difficult. I try to overcome it by learning from a defeat instead of just taking it. I make it a positive. Maybe my turns were bad or I started bad or something outside of the pool could have been better, like what I was eating or if I wasn't working out as much. I always change something to make the next time better.
What made you want to commit to Brown?
The first thing that I found interesting is the school has an open curriculum. You don’t have to follow a certain path for a degree you want right away. I don't know what I want to study yet, so that was appealing to me. The other thing is I got to meet some people on the swim team and they all felt inviting and welcoming. The program has an amazing environment.
What are your next goals?
I am swimming in the 2022 Junior National Championships, which are Aug. 1-5 in Irvine, California. My end goal for the championships is to make the Olympic Trials cut for the 400-meter individual medley, which is 4:49.89. I feel pretty confident I can do it. I have been working with my coaches a lot to improve my breaststroke since that is my weak spot. I feel happy with how I am swimming right now.
What is your favorite food?
I love any type of pasta. At swim meets that is basically all I eat.
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie has to be 'Ponyo.'
What is your favorite school subject?
I don't know if I have one favorite but I am geared more toward things like math and science. I like when there is a definite answer to things.
What are your hobbies?
I paint a lot, I go to the beach with my friends and I build a lot of LEGO sets.
What is the best advice you have received?
Whenever I am leaving to go somewhere, whether that is a meet or practice or school or somewhere else, my dad (Paul Chmielewski) reminds me to have fun. It's simple, but I think it's important and easy to forget.
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