Local Swimmer Making Waves

by Cougar News Staff 392 views0

Riley Mita: the next Michael Phelps? Mita claims he is the definition of “competitor.”

The seventeen-year-old athlete from Stevenson Ranch has been on a winning spree his whole high school career, leaving opponents in his wake.

“On land I am a leader, an inspiring voice, a motivator and a friend, but in the water I am determined and I am fierce,” Mita said. “I grew up playing every sport, and I really just found swimming fit me best.”

He wants wins and losses to be only up to him.

“I hate losing. So swimming being an individual sport really gives me the ability to control how I perform,” Mita explains.

The 2010 All-American is a leader both in and out of the water. He’s been a scholar student-athlete the last 3 years. He alsodoes volunteer work teaching children how to swim, and takes time out of being a normal high school teenager. He loves snowboarding, surfing and hanging out with his friends and family.  However, Riley never loses his focus on swimming. “Natural talent can only last you so long. It gets to a point where you have to work hard to get where you are,” Mita says.

Throughout his high school career, Riley has received many awards and accomplishments: 2010 Foothill League Swimmer of the Year, Daily News All-Area First Team for 3 years straight, and Most Valuable Player of his swim team.

He has decided to attend the U.S. Naval Academy next year, where he was given a full scholarship. Riley plans to make a huge impact in their Division 1 top-25 swim program.
“I’ll have a future set up for me like no other,” Mita exclaims.

Could he be the next Michael Phelps? The comparison is inevitable. Both seem to have that unique competitive drive that is hard to come by. He actually got the chance to race against the Olympic gold medalist and placed third behind him. “I was pretty nervous only being 16, racing the greatest athlete of all time. … Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do,” Mita said.

Riley has got a long way to go, but his future looks bright.He plans on swimming meets for both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. I’m sure we will be hearing more outstanding accomplishments about this teenager in the near future.