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Despite being a one-and-done, Chloe Isleta considers La Salle her home

Despite playing just one year for De La Salle University, Chloe Isleta considers the school as her home.

In her only UAAP Swimming season, the 5-foot-1 product of Arizona State simply feels happy to be with her team and have fun with them. Isleta also feels grateful for the opportunity to be with a team that treats her like a family and brings back childhood memories.

“My thoughts for joining this [team] – it really feels like a blessing. They’ve done so much more for me than I’ve done for them. And just trying to get these points is the least that I can do because they really helped me…[I] Really, really enjoyed it,” Isleta expressed

“I love swimming, but they bring the fun to it, and it really makes me feel like a kid again because we’re all together as a family.

“And my expectation for this meet, I just did come back from [a] world champ tour, so again, I just wanted to see what I can go. Have fun, be able to race for my team, and see what happens. I don’t want to put too much pressure,” she continued.

The Lady Green Tankers ended a 19-year championship drought since 2003 in Season 66. And Isleta proved that her team did the best they could to outperform their opponents this season.

Furthermore, she broke all the records of the Backstroke events this season – the 200m with 2:18.40, 100m with 1:04.13, and 50m with 30.07.

The 2022 ASEAN University Games gold medalist also bagged a total of seven medals, with five golds and two silvers.

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But those records and medals were not for her – they were all for her teammates achieving their goals.W-50m-FS-Chloe-Isleta Despite being a one-and-done, Chloe Isleta considers La Salle her home DLSU News Swimming UAAP  - philippine sports news

​​”Thinking about times. We’re just thinking about touching the wall for our teammates, and that’s what we did. I think we all performed together as a team, and that’s I think that’s why we won this championship,” said Isleta.

“Seeing the record… Honestly, it’s not just for me; it’s for these guys (DLSU Swim Team), my teammates, ’cause we’ve been training with each other and bonding. And it means more than just me getting the record – it’s all of us winning together.”

Before going to La Salle, the 24-year-old from San Jose, California, only joined online training via Zoom during the pandemic. Online meetings were the only time Isleta could bond with the team.

Fortunately, when it came back to regular training – it was easier for her to get in touch with them.

“During that pandemic, even though I didn’t… I was supposed to be on the Worlds team but I couldn’t go over there. We all still bonded through Zoom, so we did workouts together like core workouts, dry lands together over Zoom,” shared Isleta, who is taking her Master’s in Marketing, recalling how multiple pullouts from the national team led to her not qualifying for the World Championship.

“And we got to get to know each other. So even though that COVID year, we all basically didn’t know each other… When I came here, it felt so easy, like we all know each other; like we clicked right away.”

Rather than competing at an international level, Isleta really planned on joining the collegiate competition in the UAAP. Not just for her times and her masters, but also because of her love and passion for swimming.

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Moreover, the energy and atmosphere motivated her to perform her best in the UAAP.50-LC-Butterfly-Women-Chloe-Isleta-DLSU-2 Despite being a one-and-done, Chloe Isleta considers La Salle her home DLSU News Swimming UAAP  - philippine sports news

“It was a plan to compete like this in a college setting ’cause I’m taking my masters because I love racing, I love swimming,” she said.

“And it doesn’t feel like a job, it really feels like… It feels fun, and that’s why I do it. I don’t do it for times; it’s because, I thoroughly enjoy swimming – practicing, and being able to push myself to see how far or fast that I can go.”

However, being a one-and-done means a player can only have one playing year. Though it is now goodbye, the 2022 SEA Games Gold Medalist made the most out of her time with her teammates.

Now, her next goal is to try to compete in the 2024 Olympics in France, giving it all to swimming and looking where it will take her.

“I enjoyed it. If I have another year then, I would definitely take that opportunity, and we’ll see. I don’t even know myself, so we’ll see,” Isleta admitted.

“For swimming, I’m trying to think about the 2024 Olympics-SEA Games coming up. Right now, I’m just trying to give it my all, and see where I can go in swimming for the next couple of years. But after, then we’ll see what happens in swimming, and see what opportunities I get.”

Written By

College student in San Beda University, part of the San Beda Red Sea Lions Swim Team, and likes watching anime

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