Since he was 7, Coronado High School swimmer Samuel Quarles had always known of his desire to swim collegiately.
However, the 7th-ranked swimmer in the state of California, according to Swimcloud, says that attending the 2016 NCAA Swimming championships is what really taught him how special this sport is at the collegiate level.
Now, the Islanders swimmer boasts a commitment to swim at the University of California, Berkeley, a school he says he chose for a mix of its athletic and academic success.
“Growing up it has always been my dream to become a national champion, and with Cal going back-to-back in the years prior to my enrollment I couldn’t be more excited.”-Samuel Quarles
“I chose Cal because of the excellence they display in the pool and in the classroom. Growing up it has always been my dream to become a national champion, and with Cal going back-to-back in the years prior to my enrollment I couldn’t be more excited.” he said.
Five college offers
Quarles explained that at the end of his recruitment, he had a top five of Texas, Florida, Virginia, USC, and Cal, but ended up going with Cal because he felt like it provided him with the most opportunities after graduation.
“At the end of my recruiting experience I knew Cal was the place for me, as it seemed like the place I felt most at home,” he said. “And felt I could do the most with after graduation.”
Coronado High School Swim coach Paul Folts says that Cal is getting an athlete who possesses rare versatility at this age, explaining that because of his physical conditioning, Quarles is able to perform well across multiple events.
“What separates Samuel from the average swimmer his age is his capacity and versatility in the water,” Folts said, “He is very conditioned and has shown himself to be able to perform at a high level over an extended period of time. Most swimmers his age also tend to specialize in a couple of events, where Samuel has done a great job becoming a top competitor in all strokes. This had led him to developing a great skill set across the board.”
Undefeated in dual meets
Folts went on to say that Quarles has not lost a race in a dual meet in high school and that he’s a CIF champion in the 100 meter backstroke.
Quarles also competes internationally during club meets with teams like Coronado Swim Association- Team Elite and Team Elite San Diego.
“Just this year on the club side, he won multiple events at the Senior Classic Invite in Coronado, which is one of the biggest meets before the high school swim season starts and hosts international competition from Mexico and Canada,” Folts said.
Quarles has experienced much success in his budding career, but he says that breaking his first state record in Virginia at 10 years old provided the motivation he needed to fuel his drive for years.
“By then I had already set huge goals but to reach one of them so quickly it just seemed to kickstart my motivation for years to come,” he said.
As he prepares to compete in the CIF Finals on May 6, Quarles will look to break individual records in the freestyle and butterfly, as well as the individual medley.
The Coronado swim team competes next on April 21, at home against La Jolla at 3:30pm.