Cougar of the Week: Lukas Leung

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Photo By Jonathan Edelman

Photo By Jonathan Edelman

Lukas Leung (‘16) is from Germantown, Tennessee and has been a member of the Clark Swimming & Diving team for four years.

 

Leung is a captain along with Mark Crisafulli (‘16) and David Powers (‘16). He is a computer science major and a math tutor. Leung sat down with The Scarlet to recount his swimming career after finishing his collegiate swimming career with a career best at the NEWMAC Championships at MIT this past weekend.

 

Scarlet: So tell me how your season went. Has there been anything memorable and noteworthy?

Leung: It’s been really fun. I haven’t been worrying about how fast I’ve been going. I have been more focused on getting to know the people on the team. I have been noticing more how hard people are trying, specifically how people hit these mental walls and just have the ability to overcome them. These mental walls can come from times that they are trying to hit, or dives that you smack on and get back up and do it again.

Scarlet: You have had quite the transformation from your first year to your senior year. You have come a really long way, can you tell me what that was like and what went into it?

Leung: Well I started my time here at Clark not as an experienced swimmer, mainly just swimming competitively in high school, so I had quite the shock going from four to nine practices a week. Alex Santos (‘14) had a huge impact on me. He tried really hard and would do pretty good in season, but at finals he did great because of all the hard work and extra work he would put in.  Both he and Josh Kent (‘14) had a huge push on me to train hard in the offseason. I started out my freshman year at 214 pounds, and for this NEWMACs I weighed 175 pounds. In the off season I tried to live a healthier lifestyle: eating healthy, working out daily, and just trying to be a more active individual. I have five pages of Google Docs of workouts and health regimens to help me become a more fit individual.  I can’t really remember who told me, but someone said, “Whenever you think you are working as hard as you can, you can always work harder.”

Scarlet: What has been the most rewarding aspect you learned from swimming at Clark?

Leung: My junior year, Lydia Berry (‘15) said that she had loved seeing how everyone pushed themselves so hard and was not afraid to show just how vulnerable they are. Because if you do truly do the best you can do, there is always the chance that you fail and that is a very scary and sometimes disheartening thing to have happen. Despite this, everyone has always tried their hardest and this has given me the courage to do the same, not just in the pool with my teammates but outside in the classroom and in my social interactions…learning how to not be afraid to do your best.

Scarlet: Who on the team, past or present, has had a lasting impact on you?

Leung: As a first year there was one man on the team named Ben Solomon (‘13) who really stood out to me.  He was a junior at the time, looking to complete the 3/2 program. In doing so he was taking five classes, working in a lab, doing directed study working on several projects, and always giving his best effort to swimming despite serious tendonitis issues. He was never particularly fast, but he was definitely one of the overall hardest working people that I have ever met. To me, he has always been the ideal swimmer who I’ve aspired to be.

Scarlet: Do you have any hobbies or hidden abilities?

Leung: I really like cooking food, and trying different things to an extent. I am really interested in other cultures mainly because I’m multicultural. Ever since a young age I’ve traveled with my parents back to their motherlands since they were born in different countries. I also really love speaking Swedish, which is kind of annoying because not a lot of people here know how. I spend a lot of time working on schoolwork, working out, and deepening the connections with people I already have.

Scarlet: In ten years, what will be the thing you remember the most about Clark Swimming & Diving?

Leung: Probably the fact that this is a family, and no matter what I can always come back and be with people who accept you like family with unconditional love. [Also] the blood sweat and tears that went into all of those hours, and the results of what can come from it.

Scarlet: Who do you think has changed the most from the beginning of the year for the better?

Leung: Performance wise I have to give it to Tyler Terriault (‘16) because he was not a diver at the beginning of the year and now he is part of the top ten dives of Clark. Attitude wise, it’s Dylan Schrama (‘19), who made a total 360 at NEWMACs. He said that he has never truly tried a full season before in his life and he is ready to now. In terms of work ethic it would have to be Kelsey Clary (‘16). Since she has had severe injuries, this has been the first year she has been able to actually practice, and she is on the record board several times now.

Scarlet: What impact do you think you have left on the team?

Leung: Hopefully what I left is to enjoy every moment and always try your hardest because then after it is all done with, you won’t be able to have any regrets.

 

Thanks for the interview, Lukas!