Athlete of the Issue: Leo Poggi ’20


Edward Guo ’19

Leo Poggi ’20 specializes in distance freestyle, swimming the 200 and 500 yard freestyle in most meets.

Leo Poggi ’20 is a four-year Senior and co-captain of the Boys Varsity Swim Team. This past weekend, Poggi led the team to a third-place finish in the Founder’s League Championships, placing second in the 500 yard freestyle, sixth in the 200 yard freestyle, and second in the 200 yard medley and 400 yard freestyle relays. Teammate Ryan Tse ’23 said, “Captain Leo [Poggi ’20] is not only a [great] swimmer, but also a great leader and teammate. Despite his obvious talent, he does not see himself as above the team, and instead looks at the entire team as one entity. To him, what matters most is that everyone improves. He works hard to make sure that the entire team is putting maximum effort into every practice, and his passion for the sport is what drives us forward.”

What have been some of your favorite moments with the swim team this year?

I loved the Canterbury meet because everyone was just in a good mood. We all swam really well, so we were all having a good time. We weren’t really worried about winning or losing, so it was fun just to get up and race each other. We have also had some tough practices. Recently, we did the drop back set, where you swim twenty-five 100 [yard freestyles], that get faster each time, and you see how long you can stay in. This year, four guys finished the set. In my Prep year, nobody finished, so it was really nice to see [this improvement]. Two Preps, Ryan [Tse ’23] and James [Yae ’23],  finished [this year], and it was just really cool to have people finish.

What are some of your goals for the season and the future?

We always have the goal of getting closer together as a team, getting to know each other, and supporting each other. [The goal is also] just to swim faster than ever before. I think the program is definitely growing, so I think [our goal is to] add more fast kids [and] see more people improve. That’s one thing we do differently than a lot of other schools. We don’t recruit as much as other schools, but we develop a lot of kids.

Who inspires you most on the team?

Probably James Yae. He works really hard, he always has his mind on swimming, and he doesn’t really get lazy and quit, which is something I think we all do. James is also very positive, and he’s in my lane, so he’s a lot of fun.

Is there any advice you would give to newer members of your team?

Always listen to what Coach [Keith Moon] says, even when it sounds ridiculous. I trust [Coach Moon], so I don’t take it easy when he says to take it hard, or to take it hard when he says to take it easy. [I’ve found that] it’ll all work out if you just listen to him.

What are some challenges the team has faced this season and how did you overcome them?

We’ve had some competitive meets, where other teams did better than we expected, and we ended up losing. [We have to] stay out of our own heads and focus on our main goal. We just have to keep a good attitude and look towards the future.