Q&A With Kristin Yamaguchi

Kristin Yamaguchi is one of six true freshmen on the 2008-09 San Jose State swimming and diving team. The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif., is the only one of the six who joined the squad as a walk-on. She primarily swims the shorter freestyle, backstroke and individual medley events, but has shown enough versatility to also compete in breaststroke and butterfly.

A kinesiology major, we get to know Kristin in this latest installment of our occasional website mini-feature, Swimming & Diving Q&A.

1. Who are some of your favorite musical artists? What’s the current ringtone on your cell?
Some of my favorite musical artists are John Mayer, Blink-182, Secondhand Serenade and Nickelback. My current ringtone on my cell phone is Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade. It’s one of my favorite songs.

2. Do you have any favorite movies or television shows?
I love comedy movies, and I don’t mind a horror movie once every now and then. A few of my favorite movies are Pirates of the Caribbean, Zoolander, and Anger Management. I don’t watch a whole lot of television, but when I do I like to watch the reality shows.

3. What are some of your favorite foods? Do you have a favorite restaurant in the area?
Some of my favorite foods are ones that my dad cooks. He loves to cook. He makes great Japanese pot stickers, teriyaki chicken, and fettuccine carbonara with lots of bacon. I also love macaroni and cheese, baby back ribs, and pepperoni pizza. A few of my favorite restaurants in the area are The Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen.

4. What is your favorite place you have visited? Is there a place in particular you would like to go some day?
My favorite place that I have visited would have to be Hawaii. I really liked Maui out of all of the islands, because of the great scenery, and it is a little bit more laid back than Oahu. I love sunsets, and I was able to see some beautiful sunsets that looked like they could be on postcards. A place that I would like to go some day would be either Australia or Europe.

5. How did you spend the holiday season?
I spent the holiday season at home with my family. A lot of my close friends from high school were also home for the holidays, so I got to hang out with them as well. It’s always great to see the whole family together and be able to spend time together since the last time I got to see most of my family and relatives was during Thanksgiving break.

6. You’re one of 10 Southern California products on the team. What were the factors that made you decide to come up to San Jose State?
When I was looking at colleges, I really wanted to stay in California. I heard San Jose State was a good school with a pretty good swim team. I had a chance to come up to San Jose to talk to Sage and to find out more information about the team. He took the time to show me around and let me come watch one of their practices. Before the team got in the water, Sage introduced me to all of the girls. They were all very nice and it seemed like they were a very close team. It looked like it would be a great group to swim with. I also found out that a couple of the girls were from my club team. The main factors that finally made me decide to come to San Jose State was getting a good education, being able to swim in college and staying in California.

7. During the Ayres Hotels Relay Invitational at UC Irvine on Sunday, January 4, you swam in nine of the 10 events on the day, the most by any Spartan. Talk about that meet a little bit. Did you have a lot of family and friends there?
The Ayres Hotels Relay Invite was so much fun. All of the girls worked very hard to win; we were so close to winning. Nebraska just barely squeaked by us. The night that Sage went through the list of how many events everyone was going to swim that day, I was surprised that he would put me in that many events. It was a very exhausting meet, but I think in the end we all had fun. I had a few friends from UC Irvine that I got to see that day. My uncle, grandfather, parents and my brother also came to watch. My uncle and grandfather had never been to a swim meet before, and they were really excited to come and watch me swim, even though it was only relays. I really enjoyed that meet since it was so close to home and I got to see my family and friends again.

8. Away from the pool, how did you like your first semester of college life?
I think my first semester of college life was a little bumpy at first. It took me a week or two to get used to my new schedule, with swimming and studying. I think that first semester of college was a good wake up call and learning experience for me, because now I know what I should and shouldn’t do for this coming semester. It has been fun.

9. How do you feel you have adjusted from high school and club swimming, to Division I college swimming? How much of a change is it?
Changing from high school and club swimming to Division I college swimming is a big difference. The intensity of the team is a lot more noticeable in college swimming than swimming club or high school. For college swimming, I am starting to think more in terms of how my performance can help the team win meets. In turn, I think it is making me a better swimmer as an individual. The workouts that Sage has us go through have definitely made me stronger. I am swimming the best I have swam in a couple years. Being a walk-on and becoming a part of such a talented team and coaching staff, words just can’t describe how privileged I am to be a part of this amazing experience.

10. San Jose State is 12-1 and on an incredible 12-meet win streak. The Spartans next travel to Hayward, Calif., to face Cal State East Bay on Friday, January 16. Talk about the team’s success so far this season.
This season the team’s success is so awesome. It’s hard to believe we have won 12 in a row. All of the girls on the team are amazing. I think all of the hard training that we go through has paid off. We all may feel like we are about to die sometimes after practice, but it has been totally worth it in the end. I also think the environment that Sage has created for the team has brought us all closer together, and I think this bonding has helped us to be that much more successful as a team. It’s been great so far, and I know we are all looking forward to doing well at WAC.

2008-09 Swimming & Diving Q&A Guests
October 1 - Ashley Ladd, Sophomore
October 8 - Kirsten Trammell, Sophomore
October 30 - Rudie Guerrero, Sophomore
November 5 - Tomi Petty, Freshman
November 27 - Julie Wynn, Sophomore
December 5 - Daphne Yeung, Sophomore

December 13 - Hannah Tringham, Junior

January 7 - Tarolyn Robertson, Senior

January 8 - Megan Mills, Freshman

January 13 - Beste Erener, Senior

January 15 - Kristin Yamaguchi, Freshman