Prep of the Year Honorable Mention: Mia Solomon

Ingrid Houtkooper

“Mia and I were friends before I even knew her in the context of swimming. I just started swimming with her on the Redwood [team], because she does competitive swimming and I do water polo. [By] just knowing her, you never would have guessed how good she is because she doesn’t talk about it. And she’s really humble for how good she is,” Sydney Moseley, Mia Solomon’s teammate, said. 

Although Solomon is hesitant to boast about her speed, her athletic accomplishments speak for themselves. Solomon will be attending Tufts University next year to continue her swimming career and was recently named an All-American Athlete for qualifying for Junior Nationals and having at least a 3.5 grade point average.

Ever since Solomon was four years old, the pool has been all she’s known. Swimming has been a part of her day-to-day routine for as long as she can remember. Thus, continuing in college seemed like the natural next step. 

“Growing up, [swimming] was just a second family. I always had my closest friends on my swim team. I went to a small private school, so it was a way to get out and socialize,” Solomon said. “I’ve just always enjoyed being in the water. So I take advantage of that.”

Smiling with her teammates, Solomon smiles by the pool. (Photo Courtesy of Mia Solomon)

In order to build that success to pursue swimming in college, Solomon dedicated countless hours every day to training with both the Redwood team and her club team, North Bay Aquatics. However, Solomon says the outlet swimming provided her made the time worth it. 

“Especially junior year, it was really hard [to stay on top of everything]. I was taking harder classes, and I’m just really bad at time management. It was hard to get my work done. But once I figured it out, and could actually get my things done in a timely manner, it really wasn’t that bad, because swimming was something that [took my mind off school],” Solomon said. 

This time and effort put into maintaining her speed and schoolwork did not go unnoticed by the people around Solomon.

“I don’t think I know any person who works harder than [Solomon]. She goes to morning weights many times a week, she’s up so early — like literally 5 a.m. — and then she goes to school. She’s really smart and takes really hard classes, and then she has afternoon practice. She just has a lot going on, and she does it all, handles it all and excels in it all, which is really impressive,” Moseley said. 

Reflecting on her four years at Redwood, Solomon has learned to balance her busy life with her swimming, and also learned to take the pressure off herself to succeed.

Participating in the 100-meter breaststroke, Solomon focuses on succeeding at her favorite race.
(Photo Courtesy of Mia Solomon)

“Over the summer, and last year, I had a lot going on, so I wasn’t as focused on swimming, and then that showed in my races. It was [difficult because I] worked really hard and did not see it pay off,” Solomon said. “I think before I put so much pressure on myself and [thought] I needed to do well and my hard work needed to pay off to prove that it was worth something. But then I started caring about that a little bit less and I just realized, ‘I am putting in the work, and eventually it will pay off and it doesn’t need to happen right away.’”

This change in mindset allowed Solomon to find more confidence in herself and her skills, and she looks forward to continuing this attitude at Tufts next year.