Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Christiana Butera

“Her talent is the direct product of sheer work ethic and passion for what she does.”Activities? I have been a Wheaton Athletic Mentor (WAM) for the past 3 years, a prospective student ambassador and currently am the co-captain of the synchronized swimming team.

Something interesting about me: I played football in a boys league in eighth grade and came close to leading my team in touchdowns!

Synchronized swimming: I spend the majority of my time here at Wheaton in the pool and there is honestly nothing else I would rather be doing. I have loved every minute of Wheaton Synchro. Even when I’m exhausted, and sore, deprived of oxygen, mentally drained, and stressed, I know at the end of the day that it is always worth it when I get to a meet and can be so proud and honored to be wearing that Wheaton Synchro Jacket. I am extremely excited to see what unfolds for our team this year.

Qualifying for the 2011 USA National Synchronized Swimming Team: I qualified for trials by having a top ten finish in my solo last year at collegiate nationals. The trials process itself consisted of three different types of testing. There are ten skills and four elements which are given to the swimmers ahead of time to practice. They measure strengths in height out of the water, propulsion, endurance, speed of movement, flexibility, presentation, breath control and stamina.

I’d like to thank: I definitely could not have gone through the trials process without my coach Rebecca Story, my part time coach Nathalie Bartleson, and my mom Teresa Butera. Rebecca Story had participated in trials processes before, and knew how hard it was to train for something so intense on your own. I would have never done it unless I knew how supportive and positive my coaching influence would be throughout the whole experience. Nathalie Bartleson has been Wheaton’s team choreographer for the past 2 years and took an interest in me in the few times we worked together. She is an extremely talented former Olympic gold medalist who is one of the most giving and generous people I have ever encountered.

Throughout the entire process my whole family has been nothing but loving and supportive. Specifically, my mother was instrumental in keeping me motivated and grounded when I would get overwhelmed and stressed out. She always reminded me that my best was enough, that I was doing it because I loved it, and at the end of the day, it’s just synchronized swimming!

Learning I’d made the team: Even when I realized that I had a good chance of making it, I had no real concept of what that meant until they called my name and it started to sink in. I was so incredibly proud, honored, and excited. It validated my belief that if I am willing to put in the time, effort, and hard work, than I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Coach Story shares her thoughts: “Christiana’s got the heart, motivation, and strength of a great athlete. Her talent is the direct product of sheer work ethic and passion for what she does. From the very first time I met Christiana, I knew she’d be a perfect addition to the team. She possesses many of the qualities I’ve come to expect from all my athletes. To have a swimmer that exemplifies all my expectations is a true blessing.”