Athlete of the Week: Semaj Walker ‘20

Athlete of the Week: Semaj Walker ‘20

By Zach Withrow

 

Our Athlete of the Week for this issue represents the Tiger swim team. Semaj Walker ’20 is in the midst of her freshman year here at Pacific, originally hailing from Santa Teresa High School in San Jose. Walker was a standout in every respect at Santa Teresa; she broke multiple school records on her way to becoming the first swimmer in the school’s history to reach the state championships, and she was also the valedictorian of her graduating class.

 

Walker has picked up right where she left off with excellent performances in the pool this season. Most recently, she helped Pacific win the 200 Medley Relay in the team’s meet with UC Santa Cruz this past weekend.

 

Walker told The Pacifican that a major reason she decided to bring her talents to Pacific was due to her relationship with Coach Peter Richardson.

“I love Coach Pete; he’s the best coach out of any that I talked to. He’s great person, and his energy is through the roof all the time,” she said. Walker, a Biology major, also mentioned the great reputation of Pacific’s science programs as being a factor in her decision to become a Tiger.

 

When asked for her thoughts on the season so far, Walker said she was happy with the team’s progress, highlighting wins over MPSF rivals Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. An individual highlight came during a Dec. UNLV meet, when she set season-best for the Tigers in the 100 Breast with a time of 1:04.85.

 

Walker has found that being a student-athlete can be quite challenging. When asked what the most difficult part of the experience is, she pointed to the balancing act that so many student-athletes must perform. “Probably scheduling your classes around practices, and finding enough time to get rest, do your work and go for training, all that kind of stuff,” she explained.

 

Walker said that drawing and painting are included amongst her favorite hobbies when she’s not in the pool; she also joked that eating and sleeping are on that list. One of the places you might find her eating is the Midnight Creperie on the Miracle Mile, which she cited as one of her favorite spots in Stockton.
Walker and rest of the Pacific swim team will next take to the water on Feb. 4, when they compete against UC Davis.

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Zach Withrow

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