Finding her passion at six, the senior has set multiple school records throughout her DB career.


Photo courtesy of KELLY CHENG

Senior Kelly Cheng will continue her swimming career at Northeastern University.

Amelie Lee, Asst. Feature Editor

After learning to swim when she was six, Diamond Bar High School senior Kelly Cheng has butterflied her way into an education at Northeastern University next fall. She set multiple record times in her four years on varsity swim  and competed at Junior Nationals in 2016 and 2017 with club team Brea Aquatics.

Competing primarily in the 100 Meters butterfly and the 200 Meters freestyle, Cheng has become an important part of DB’s team, both as a competitor and leader.

“She is a great example of what it takes to just go in there and get it done. She always show good sportsmanship and respect to her competitors not only by the effort that she gives but all around,” head coach Darlys Ankeny said via email. “I consider Kelly a role model to all the other swimmers.”

Cheng began swimming competitively when she was eight, and has been on Brea Aquatics for seven years, gaining the opportunity to swim at Junior Nationals in Idaho and Texas in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

“It was my goal for a couple of years, and I missed the time limit the first year I wanted to go, but you always have to get back on your feet. I was really excited when I finally made it,” Cheng said.

Cheng has also competed with Brea Aquatics at the Stanford Futures Championships in 2016, and has recently placed first at the Meet of Champions at Mt. SAC.

During a competitive and successful 2017 season, Cheng helped the DBHS team place at CIF, placing sixth in both the 100 Butterfly and 200 Medley Relay.

Cheng also currently holds the individual school record for the girls 200 Freestyle at 1:53:52, and has broken multiple school records before.

“I cannot tell you how many times she has broken her own record over and over again each year. She does not settle for just beating a particular swimmer at any given meet, but gives the best that she has every time,” Ankeny said.

After years of success in swim, Cheng said that her teammates are her motivation to continue swimming and working her hardest—both at school and on her club team.

“I think I’ve definitely gained a lot of experience and grown a lot. Just talking to other coaches and swimmers has made a huge difference, especially this past year,” Cheng said.

Last October, Cheng made her verbal commitment to Northeastern University after they accepted her into their swim program.

Cheng said the choice was easy—seeing that their academic programs matched her career goals to become a pharmacist.

Currently practicing 14 hours a week, Cheng said that she hopes to continue motivate her teammates through her actions and dedication to staying fit and active.

“She always brings a smile to the team. After her races, I know we will get a big smile from her every time.” Ankeny said. “She will be a real joy and asset to Northeastern University Swimming next year, and will be greatly missed at Diamond Bar.”