While most freshmen were adjusting to classes and attending meetings with their peer counselors at the start of the school year, Miguel Siwady was swimming at the 2022 FINA World Junior Championships in Lima, Peru, where he s ranked 22nd in the 1,500 meters final. . He represented Honduras, where he currently has the three fastest 1,500 meter times of anyone in the country for 2022 according to Swimcloud. Siwady is excited to be studying in the 3-2 Engineering program and hopes to make an impact on the swim team’s season, which officially kicked off this week.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What was high school swimming like and how have you heard of Oberlin?
My school didn’t have a swim team, so I mostly swam in clubs. It was called Delfines Sampedranos, one of the best teams in Honduras. I was training twice a day, three times a week. It was a very big team, but I was one of the oldest, so I had a sort of captain role in my team with one of my training partners, who is also my age. I heard about Oberlin because of a recruiting email from coach Alex de la Peña. When I received this email, I researched the school. I liked its engineering program and how I could also study liberal arts here.
What is your specialty and why?
My specialty is the 1500 meter freestyle. In Honduras not many people participate in this event, so when I was little I decided that I was going to be good in this event because no one else was. My older brother helped me because he also swam in this event. He was a model for me.
How Oberlin supported you in your training for the junior world championships?
The start of the competition was at the same time as the orientation of international students. I had to train here for a few days, even though the season hadn’t started. Coach Alex and Coach Ben Corley opened the pool at 6am and walked me through my last week of training before the Worlds. It was really important because it gave me some pointers on what I needed to do to improve my technique and be fast overall.
How long were you in Peru for the World Juniors and what were the most memorable experiences?
I was there from September 3-5. My most memorable experiences were getting to know all these different swimmers from different parts of the world, as well as swimming in the biggest stage for the age group I’m in. I got to see the top hundred freestyle swimmers in the world. His name is David Popovici and seeing him swim was amazing, like a different experience. Recently, like a month ago Miguel Siwady, a competitor at the World Junior Swimming Championships, he broke the world record. He’s only 18, so that was really cool.
What else have you been doing this summer?
After I graduated, I traveled to Florida and swam, swam, swam there with the swim team for a month and a half. While I wasn’t swimming, I spent time with my dad and spent time with my family before going to school here.
How was the adaptation to college after attendingat the Junior World Championships?
It was easy because the swimming team is very welcoming and very numerous. The captains are nice people and they will help you if you have a problem. We always have these talks with Stevie. After practice, we all go to Stevie’s as a team and we eat, and we meet to get to know each other. It’s a fairly open team, almost like a family. My goal is to have a positive impact on the team and help overall, especially in the championships. The first practice session in the pool yesterday was nice as we got a feel for the pool and swimming together for the first time.
Have you considered potential majors or minors?
Besides engineering, I’m interested in the film studies department at Oberlin. I know it’s very broad — there’s even a course dedicated to Hong Kong cinema, which is very interesting.