The 2010-11 swim season is quickly drawing to a close, with only championship season remaining. The team now looks toward competing at the highly-anticipated University Athletic Association Championships at the Webster Athletic Complex in two weeks, and then later gearing up for the NCAA Championships at the University of Tennessee in late March.
As one of UR’s premier freestyle swimmers, sophomore Christian Vu will no doubt be a key component in the late-season lineup. With wins in both the 100 and 200 freestyle in Saturday’s thrilling 151-149 victory over RIT, Vu played a crucial role in sending the Yellowjackets’ heated rival home empty-handed on Senior Day.
What is your college major?
I’m a Biomedical Engineering major with a cell and tissue concentration.
Why did you decide to attend UR?
Good question to ask in the middle of January. I’m from California, where the weather is usually perfect, so I wanted to go somewhere that had a completely different atmosphere. UR is also a really good school for biomedical engineering.
Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
As embarrassing as it sounds, I dance before every race to “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. You can see me before each race moving my feet, snapping, and swaying back and forth. Then, once I’m actually behind the block, I do my signature “Nerves” dance, which is essentially just me flapping my arms and saying in my head, “Gotta shake out some of these nerves!”
Is there any particular moment during your college swimming career that stands out as a high point in your mind?
Winning the 200 free at Liberty Leagues. I definitely felt like the underdog in the race because all the other guys were so much bigger than me.
As a member of the relay team that was depended upon to win the RIT meet, what was going through your mind as you stood on the block, waiting to swim your leg?
I was freaking out because the race was so close from the get-go and everyone — both teams and the crowd — were standing and cheering.
I kept saying to myself, “Breathe only four times, and don’t start slowly!”
And what was it like watching Alex swim the final leg?
I don’t think I’ve ever yelled so loudly in my life. I knew Alex was going to pull through though, because he’s a hard worker and wanted to prove why he’s one of the freshmen on the “A” relay. RIT is thought by many as UR’s crosstown rival.
Did the fact that the meet was against them bear any extra significance for you and your team?
You should have heard the pre-race team speech from Andy Hagar. It was basically about how we can’t lose to this team because they are our rivals. To me, though, I just wanted to win at least one event, because last time we swam against them I swam different events. I wanted to prove that I could still come out on top in completely different races.
With only UAAs and Nationals still to come, how do you see yourself and the team as having changed over the course of the season?
Personally, at the beginning of the year, I was a mile swimmer, and now I’m a sprinter. As for the team, I think it just took a little time for everyone to find the event that they could excel at. But, after moving everyone around for a couple months, I think the team and the coaches finally have a solid game plan for UAAs.
Bernstein is a member of
the class of 2014.