Local with Lisa | Piedmont Swim Team College Commitments

Three high school seniors had different journeys, but they all have one thing in common.

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From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.

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.

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
Paige Arnold

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
Simon Lins 

“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
Ryan Stokes

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.


“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 Kate’s experience going through the process and getting into Amherst last year: “You have to have the academics because there is no athletic scholarship.”

Former Piedmont Swimmer Kate Aubrecht now swims for Amherst College
Kate Aubrecht is a first-year student Amherst College where she is on the swim team.

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.”


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.

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