Northwood senior swimmers Gabriel Munoz, Henry Wu, Hwamin Sim, Collin Press and Shawn Lou signed contracts with colleges on Nov. 15, in recognition of their outstanding athletic performances, committing to the Georgia Institute of Technology, Duke University, Emory University, New York University and Columbia University respectively.
Munoz’s passion for swimming transcends geographical boundaries, landing him a spot on the coveted Georgia Tech Swimming team. Munoz, who moved to Irvine from Venezuela only four years ago, believed that moving to the United States was a difficult but rewarding process.
“Moving was a major challenge because I had to adjust to a new way of life in a different country,” Munoz said.
In addition to being a three-time National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association All-American, Munoz holds several national swimming records in Venezuela. He was given the opportunity to play at multiple universities; however, Munoz ultimately chose the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I chose Georgia Tech because of its rigorous academics, great facilities and fantastic team atmosphere,” Munoz said. “I am looking forward to furthering my education and becoming the best athlete that I can be at Georgia Tech.”
A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and a finalist at Junior Nationals, Wu will continue his swimming endeavours at Duke University. Scouted by multiple universities, Wu ultimately decided on Duke University because of its well-rounded academics and athletics.
“I chose Duke because it has the best balance between academics and athletics, and Duke offers a lot of support for athletes,” Wu said. “The coaching staff is also really supportive and cares about the interests of each individual swimmer.”
Wu attributes his success as a swimmer to the dedication of his parents and the patience of his coaches.
“I would like to thank my mom for dedicating her time to take me to early morning practices and my coaches for not giving up on me no matter what,” Wu said.
Sim is committed to swim for the Emory University Eagles next season. Beginning competitive swimming at 8 years old, Sim’s swim career consists of countless accomplishments, hardships and memories.
“My most memorable accomplishment was when I went to Junior Nationals last year with my club team, Irvine Novaquatics, where we won the meet in combined scores,” Sim said. “Being with all my friends and seeing everybody go crazy made the meet one of my most exhilarating experiences.”
At Emory University, Sim is excited to advance both his athletic and academic passions and create new memories with his colleagues.
“I chose Emory because of their strong emphasis on balancing academics with swimming,” Sim said. “I look forward to meeting new teammates at Emory and competing in a new environment.”
Having had an accomplished swimming career, placing 3rd in both the 50m and 100m freestyle events in the Pacific Coast League and earning All American Honors his junior year, Press has committed to New York University. He thanks his fellow swimmer, senior Justin Pyne, for helping him succeed despite the sport’s hardships.
“Finding motivation to swim is the most difficult aspect of the sport. It’s really easy to quit considering the long hours and grueling sets. However someone that has helped me overcome this is Justin (never lucky) Pyne,” Press said. “Justin’s been with me from day one, making swim practice exponentially more enjoyable due to his hilarious jokes and memes. Thanks to him, I’ve been able to tough it through and get accepted into the nationally ranked Stern School of Business.”
Having ranked 7th place in California CIF Division 1 Section Championships, Lou has committed to Columbia University.
“I chose Columbia for its team dynamic, supportive coaches and amazing academic institution in a world class city,” Lou said. “The coaches and team made me feel like I would fit right in, and I know that they will help me pursue my goals in and out of the pool to achieve success in my life.”
These senior swimmers have represented Northwood exceptionally well throughout high school, and will carry on the Timberwolf spirit as they embark on their college careers.