Victoria Robinson is a 16-year old student-athlete at Case Western Reserve University. Yes, that’s correct, a 16-year old collegiate student-athlete. And, if that is not interesting enough, take into account that she hails all the way from Colorado and plans to become an emergency room doctor. Still not impressed? Well, Victoria has also interned with the Dew Tour and competed in the same pool as four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin.
Victoria grew up in Parker, Colorado, a commuter town at the southeastern most corner of Denver. She was accelerated through first and second grades and thus completed the remainder of her pre-college years as the youngest student in her class. However, that did not stop her from achieving plenty of success both athletically and academically.
She earned a total of nine varsity letters while competing in swimming, cross country and track & field at Legend High School. There, she was a three-year captain for the swim team and a state qualifier in track. In the classroom, she graduated as her senior class valedictorian.
She came to Case Western Reserve at the age of 15 this fall, and now nearing the end of her freshman season with the Spartan swimming & diving team, Victoria has not wavered from her high level of involvement. She has competed in seven different events covering freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and individual medley. Out of the pool, Victoria is heavily involved in the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which focuses on programming, advocacy and leadership development in the residence halls.
Although she has not officially declared a major, she is leaning towards nutritional biochemistry and hopes to later attend medical school. No surprise, Victoria already has a leg up on practical experience as she worked with Winning Medical International, the preferred event medicine and rescue providers for the Alli Sports Dew Tours.
In this addition of Spartan Spotlight, Victoria talks about how she ended up at CWRU at the age of 15, what her experience has been like thus far, and competing versus the likes of Missy Franklin.
How did you end up at Case Western Reserve University all the way from Colorado and at the age of 15?
“I went through first and second grades quickly and that is how I got two years ahead in school. I heard about Case from a family friend from Cleveland. She is an ER nurse, which is a field I’m seriously interested in, so she suggested I visit. I really liked the university because of the great research opportunities and having University Hospital right next door.”
What has your collegiate experience been like thus far, and how does it feel to be amongst student-athletes that are mostly two to six years older than you?
“It isn’t much different because I have been competing against people older than me my whole life. College is bigger stage, and it is much more competitive in swimming, but it hasn’t been too much of a change for me.”
How did you end up swimming with Missy Franklin and what was that experience like?
“She swam in the same league, the Continental, back in Colorado. It was really challenging because she was faster than my best teammates. But, it was a good experience because it pushed me harder due to the added attention that you knew would be on the meet.”
Have you declared a major and do you have any career aspirations yet?
“I haven’t declared yet, but I am set to go into nutritional biochemistry. It still gets me the requirements needed to be a pre-med student, and it interests me because of the correlation between nutrition and medical outcomes. I thought nutritional biochemistry would be better than just nutrition because it is more science and math based, which I enjoy. I will probably do a minor in women’s studies because I’m interested in those classes as well. As for a career, I would like to become either an ER doctor or a pediatrician. They are very different fields in medicine, but I really like emergency room treatments right now, and I like working with children as well.”
Being so young, you probably have yet to reach your physical peak. With that said, what do you hope to accomplish in the pool before your career ends at Case?
"As Coach Milliken (Doug Milliken) and I have discussed, I am a couple years behind my teammates not only in training, but in muscle development. Hopefully, once I've had a few years of collegiate-level swimming and weight training under my belt, I'll be able to reach my peak and compete at a higher level."
Note: “Spartan Spotlight” is a bi-weekly to monthly series that highlights a Case Western Reserve University student-athlete and his/her exploits on and off the playing field. The series is meant to provide an inside look at the unique backgrounds of Spartan student-athletes and show what it takes to succeed athletically and academically at one of the nation’s premier research institutions.