Sydney Whiting

Age: 18

GPA: 4.7

Athletic accomplishments: A swimmer, Sydney broke LIS meet records in the 50 and 100 freestyle and came 0.26 seconds from breaking the school record. She’s owns the best time in the area in the 50 free, 23.53, which is fifth in the state. In the 100 free, she has the state’s second best time and the area’s best. In the 200 free, she has the second fastest time in the area and 13th fastest in the state. Last year she was named first-team All-Metro in the 50 and 100 free and second-team in the 200 free, and she holds school records in the 100 and 200. She’s won two state championships.

Academic accomplishments: Sydney is an international baccalaureate student at Trinity Episcopal, where she was awarded the West Point Leadership Award. She has completed 60 hours of community service, and she will swim for Notre Dame next year.

Favorite class: “I.B. global politics with Mr. Jones.”

Intended major: “Business. I want to start a small business one day.”

First job she wanted as a kid: “When I was a kid I always wanted to be an architect.”

Three words to describe her: “Determined, loyal, caring.”

Favorite book: “The Woman in the Window.”

Working to improve: “Time management. My starts and turns.”

Best sports memory: “This past week at our LIS meet, we had the 400 free relay at the end. We were seeded third, and we got past St. Catherine’s and got second. Everyone had amazing splits, the whole environment of that meet was amazing. ... The energy got everyone to have amazing times. I was really proud of our team.”

On her playlist: “Hip-hop and rap and some throwback songs.”

Most embarrassing music on her playlist: “Throwback Britney Spears.”

Person alive she admires the most: Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel.

Favorite thing about swimming: “I like how it’s a balance between an individual sport, but also you rely on your teammates a lot.”

Favorite emoji: “The one with the stars on the eyes.”

If she could go on any game show: “Family Feud with my cousins.”

If she could travel anywhere in the world: “Iceland.”

Best advice she’s ever received: “This year, it’s living in the moment because it’s my senior year.”

If she could have dinner with anyone dead or alive: “Simone Manuel.”

If she could be any animal: “Cheetah.”

Her house is burning down and she can take only one thing with her: “A photo album.”

How she prepares for swimming: “I slap my arms and they turn bright red. It gets my stresses out and gets my arms warmed up.”

Favorite piece of clothing: “My Notre Dame sweatshirts. I wear those a ton.”

When she’s not swimming or doing school work she’s: “Probably goofing off with my friends, probably making TikToks.”

Actress who would play her in a movie: “Blake Lively.”

Scholar-athletes of the month are nominated by their coach or athletics director and are chosen by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Richmond Sports Backers. For more information on the program, visit

Sports reporter

Eric Kolenich writes sports stories for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, focusing on local athletes and teams. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a BA in English and joined the paper in 2009. (804) 649-6109

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