In The Spotlight With Dede Torres
Nov. 27, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - As do most children at a young age, freshman Dede Torres learned to swim at a local community pool in Fresno at the age of four, seeking thrills diving off the diving board and swimming for fun.
Now nearly 14 years later and entering her first year of college, Torres is a solid contributor on the Fresno State swimming and diving team, using both abilities and skills developed not only in swimming but in her competitive experience in water polo spanning the last six years.
Torres is one of many valuable members of the 2008-09 Bulldog swimming and diving team, which was resurrected at Fresno State for this year. The team is off to fast start this season, and with a brand new multi-million dollar pool and training facility breaking ground on campus this spring, the Bulldogs have high expectations for the future of the program.
"I first started swimming competitively in the 7th-grade at Rayburn Intermediate School," said Torres. "I also started playing water polo at that same time. My water polo coach wanted us to swim to help develop our game, so that is how I got my start swimming."
Torres continued to swim and play water polo throughout high school, earning three varsity letters in swimming and four in water polo at Clovis East High School. "Originally water polo was the only sport I was going to play and then coach said we had to swim," said Torres. "Swimming has helped me focus on individual goals because a lot of times you really need to improve yourself before you can improve the entire team."
In her first few collegiate meets of the season, Torres has made personal strides and showcased her talents for the Bulldogs in many freestyle events.
"My biggest athletic thrill so far this season was earning a personal best at the Washington State Invitational," said Torres. "Earning a personal best in the 50 freestyle event and being far from home at my first collegiate Invitational was great."
A Fresno native, Torres knew she wanted to stay close to her home and her family upon completion of high school, allowing her transition to Division I college swimming to follow a smooth path.
"I chose Fresno State because I really wanted to stay in town," said Torres. "The chance to join this team has been a great opportunity for me. There are higher expectations but I really like it."
For now, Torres is focused on school and has set high athletic goals for her career at Fresno State. She's inspired by the strong support she receives from her parents Debbie and Robert.
"I want to improve on more times and on strokes," said Torres. "My parents encourage me to better myself, never settle for less and to always be and do my best."
"Join the State - Fresno State!" - The Fresno State swimming and diving team dives into action Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6, 2008, on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at the Mustang Invitational.