Senior Swimmer Sara Strauss Commits D1 to Valparaiso University
Sara Strauss, a senior swimmer at Spring Lake High school, recently committed D1 to Valparaiso University in Indiana. Strauss is a renowned swimmer at Spring Lake. Strauss was captain of the swim team for two years and will be dearly missed by her teammates.
To get some insight into her past competitively swimming for Spring Lake, I asked her to tell us a little bit about her time here. She said, “My experience swimming for Spring Lake has been absolutely amazing! I have had the best memories from high school from swimming. It has taught me so much not only about myself as a swimmer but as a person too. Additionally, I picked up leadership skills from being a captain for 2 years, that I never would have traditionally learned. I have met so many incredible people from swimming, who are not only my teammates but my best friends! I have learned dedication and hard work contribute to success. Overall I would extremely recommend going swimming to anyone simply looking for a good time!”
Strauss spoke on the recruitment process and gave some amazing insight by telling us that the recruitment process was exciting, but also a lot of work. She said that she sent out 50+ emails to schools near and far to start the process, which helped dip her toes into the pool that is the recruitment process. She got a feel for the characteristics she wanted in a college by doing lots of phone interviews with various universities. Strauss said that typically schools will offer an in-person tour of the school if it’s a serious consideration, but due to COVID-19, she was only able to personally visit her top 4. Strauss said that the overall recruitment process took about a year, but that “while it was a lot of work, it was very exciting and really fun to expand my horizons onto a collegiate level.”
Next, Strauss told us a little about her college and her aspirations. She said, “I ended up committing to Valparaiso University! Valparaiso University is a private university located in Valparaiso, Indiana, approximately 2 hours south of Spring Lake. The university has 4,500 students and has lots of activities and extracurriculars on campus. Valpo has a large athletic program that competes at the NCAA D1 level in the Missouri Valley Conference. I am thinking about majoring in Biological Research Sciences or becoming a Physician Assistant.”
When asked about any memories or stories of the process Strauss said, “Valparaiso was the last college tour that I had. Up to that point, I had visited a few others, but there was always a catch with each one - something that was missing for me. Going to Valpo, I was hopeful that they would have everything I looked for in a school. Once I got on campus I felt this “A-ha” moment. I just knew deep down that I was supposed to be there. I absolutely loved the campus and the town around it! The school had so many opportunities for me to excel academically and athletically. I just felt so welcomed there and it made me fall in love.”
Finally, I asked Strauss what one thing that she wanted to tell other collegiate-aspiring athletes was, and her response was incredible. She said, “Simply, do it. Just go for it! From what I can tell you right now, it’s an experience of a lifetime - to be around people who possess the same interests as you but taken to another level. If you have the desire to continue your athletic career in college, I would 100% recommend you push yourself to do so. A simple email goes a long way. Do your research, train, and push yourself! The process itself is intimidating but so worth it in the end. And lastly, Go Valpo!”
Strauss’ insight into the recruitment process, her time and accomplishments at Spring Lake, and her desire to succeed are, simply put, awesome. Congratulate Sara on her amazing achievements, and wish her luck in college - she will certainly be a force to be reckoned with at Valparasio University.