Local with Lisa

Local with Lisa: Piedmont Swim Team College Commitments

March 14, 2023

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Town Hall Meeting

Piedmont Swim Team members and parents came together at the Piedmont Center for the Arts to hear from three high school seniors. Simon Lins, Paige Arnold and Ryan Stokes had different journeys, but they all have one thing in common.  They committed to swim in college.

“It’s been a pleasure to get to know them and their parents,” head coach Stefan Bill told the packed room.

Piedmont Swim Team members and parents came together to hear from 3 high school seniors about committing to swim in college.

Role for PST Parents

All three Piedmont Swimmers were joined on stage by their parents to share how they encouraged them to attend practice without being pushy. Amy Aubrecht, mother of Kate Aubrecht who started swimming for Amherst College kicked off the discussion.

“If there’s any tricks. It was bribing with food, right? Like parents are bringing hot chocolate or donuts.”

Piedmont Swim Team's Paige Arnold commits to Amherst College

Piedmont Swim Team’s Paige Arnold agreed. “My dad, every morning before morning practice gets up and makes my lunch, which is really nice and breakfast before early morning practices.”

And when these swimmers wanted to quit, this is how they pulled out of their slump.

National Ranked Piedmont Swimmer Simon Lins commits to UVA

“In 6th grade I was fed up and dreading practice, but I had a conversation with my dad he told me to give it one more year and if I still don’t like it I can quit,” Simon Lins told his Piedmont teammates.  “The next year I fell in love with it.”

Ryan Stokes added, “To just sit on the couch and miss practice, especially if you have a lot of schoolwork or something like that is really easy. But just for me, just telling myself you’ve gone this far, just one more practice.”

PST's Ryan Stokes commits to The College of Wooster

Coaches Coach, Parents Parent, Swimmers Swim.

Parents and swimmers agreed. The parents’ role in supporting their swimmer is simple. “Coaches coach, parents parent, swimmers swim.” Amy Aubrecht explained.

All of this support has given these kids the opportunity to swim in college. Simon is the first from PST in at least the last ten years to be recruited by a D1 school.

College Recruitment Explained

“Every single school in the country with a D1 program was talking to me,” Simon said. “It was really overwhelming.”

Simon was recruited by Cal, Harvard, University of Texas, Yale, Brown and Columbia to name a few but picked UVA. While his swim times were important, that wasn’t the only thing schools cared about.

“They are making an investment in you, not your times.  They make an investment in your character and who you are striving to be.”

D1 vs D3

Paige committed to swim at Amherst College and Ryan at The College of Wooster. They say the process to swim at a D3 school is different.  While D1 schools recruit swimmers, for D3 schools swimmers are the ones who initiate it. Amy Aubrecht shared her daughter’s experience getting into Amherst.

Former Piedmont Swimmer Kate Aubrecht now swims for Amherst College

“You have to have the academics because there is no athletic scholarship.”

College coaches have a certain number of swimmers they can support, which can help you get accepted into the school. Piedmont Swim Team’s Head Coach, Stefan talked about his own conversations with college recruiters from around the country. “The Columbia men’s head coach essentially said, I’m going to put him at the top of the list.”

It Takes Sacrifice

All the Piedmont swimmers say they sacrificed social events and the opportunity to play other sports. Parents gave up vacations to attend swim meets.

Paige Arnold said. “Every time I miss a practice, I think it’s a missed opportunity.”

For Simon Lins, “When things get really hard it’s going to be discipline that will keep you consistent until motivation kicks in.” 

Ryan Stokes summed it up. “Trust the process.”

But they all say it was worth it and they’re excited for what the future holds.


Who should I interview next for Local with Lisa? If you have a suggestion I’d like to hear it! Or if you’d like to talk about real estate and want to know your home’s current market value, I’m happy to provide you a complimentary assessment. Get in touch!

For more Local with Lisa, click here.

Insights, stories and interviews about homeownership and living in the East Bay From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.
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I'm Lisa, your new Realtor & friend.

My passion is meeting new people, getting to know them and learning their stories. Before I jumped into the world of real estate, I spent nearly 15 years in front of the camera anchoring and reporting the news. The mix of being a Bay Area native, Emmy-winning reporter and now Realtor gives me a deep understanding of the market and has made me an excellent listener and communicator.

I consider it an honor to work with you and guide you during one of the more important times in your life.

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Lisa Chan Carnazzo

Lisa is a San Francisco Bay Area Realtor with The Grubb Co.


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