A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the central valley. As a way of honoring some of these outstanding seniors, our Sports Central team will be presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts” each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday through the end of June.
VISALIA, Calif. — Alex Roberts, a recent Redwood High School grad, has been swimming for 14 years, beginning when she was just four years old. She’s a 4-time varsity MVP, 2-year captain and took first place in two events at last year’s Central Section meet.
She was stronger and faster entering her senior season, but it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was devastated,” said Roberts. “Because I had so many hopes and dreams. I wanted to break some more school records.”
Roberts already holds six school records, three in individual events and three in relay.
Swimming is a challenging sport, both mentally and physically, and that’s what keeps her coming back day after day.
“It’s pretty hard, because every day it’s two hours staring at a black line thinking ‘okay, I need to do this better,”’ Roberts explained. “That’s kinda like the curse that comes with an individual sport, because you can’t blame anyone else.”
During her junior year, Roberts sent out her resume and times to about 50 different schools, from Stanford to smaller schools on the east coast. She received some positive feedback, but she was also turned away by quite a few programs that told her she needs to get faster. One of those schools being San Diego State… a school that ended up signing her.
“Over the summer I dropped a ton of time, worked my butt off and then they called me back in August. They wanted to set up a recruiting trip,” said Roberts. “It was just all perfect for me. I said yes while I was on my trip.”
Roberts high school swim coach, Walter Bricker, spoke highly of his swimmer. “Alex trains and competes with a great attitude, is extremely coachable and is very deserving of her success,” Bricker said. “I expect her to blossom into an elite college swimmer next year at San Diego State.”
Roberts will be training and competing in the pool as an Aztec and also plans to take advantage of the nearby beach.
“I love the beach,” Roberts gushed.
She’s also learning how to surf.
“I’m getting a little better at that. I actually bought a surf board. I need to learn how to use it before I get down there, so I don’t look bad,” Roberts said laughing.