East Swimmer Sarah Teng has committed to Bates College

Sarah Teng (22) competing in a swim meet.

Courtesy of Sarah Teng

Sarah Teng (’22) competing in a swim meet.

Sarah Teng (‘22) has committed to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where she will compete for the Women’s Swim Team in the New England Small Athletic Conference.

Teng was inspired to begin swimming at age 10 after watching her older brother succeed as a swimmer. Throughout the years, she has trained with several clubs and teams in South Jersey and has recently been on the Cherry Hill East Girls Swimming (CHEGS), South Jersey Aquatic Club (SJAC), and Riverton Wave Summer Club (Riverton) swim teams.

After swimming for CHEGS during her entire high school career, Teng was voted captain for the 2021-2022 season. According to Teng, the best aspect of being on CHEGS was the team aspect. It is her favorite team that she has been a part of.

“Nothing beats the East Girls swimming dynamic. It’s just so special, everyone is so close and it is just such a loving community. I love it so much,” said Teng.

Swimming for high school and club teams is a big commitment that requires great time management skills. Teng often swims 6 days a week year-round for CHEGS, SJAC, and Riverton. During a typical season she practices several hours every day after school, on Saturday mornings, and before school 2 days a week starting at 5 AM. Summers are just as busy, with weekday morning practices, an afternoon option to double up, and club meets on Saturdays.

Even though it is a huge time commitment and a demanding schedule, swimming for East and club is worth it to Teng. With limited free time during high school swim season which overlaps with the busiest time for club training, Teng often uses lunch periods and study halls to do her work.

Her favorite memory from her time with CHEGS was winning the State Championships in 2020 for East swimming. It was a big bonding moment for the team which she will always remember.

“It was one of the best days of my life,” said Teng.

While Teng found the college recruiting process stressful, it was worth it to find the right overall fit. After being accepted at Bates, the coach reached out to Teng who was honored to be offered a spot on the team. During her campus visit, Teng got to meet the coach and a few swimmers. After visiting Bates, she was drawn to the smaller size of the school and the swim team. She is planning to study economics and is excited about the opportunity to live in Maine. At the end of the day, Bates College and the close knit swim team felt like the right decision for Teng.

“Just having a family that I can go into in college, having people that have my back is comforting,” said Teng.