First-year Min Wei is one of WU’s newest members of the women’s swimming team and has already proved herself to be an asset to the team’s roster. Wei is one of five other first-year swimmers, including freestyle swimmers Anna Jones, Maddie Khoury and Surya Lee. Wei and Corinne Pierson both compete in butterfly events, but Pierson also does backstroke while Wei does breaststroke. In the first few events of the fall season, Wei was able to place within the top three swimmers against high-ranked schools such as Pacific Lutheran University and Whitworth University.
Additionally, in the 2018 Bruin Invitational, Wei raced with junior Niki Kates, senior Kiley Lin and senior Rachel Harvill and won first place in the women’s 200-yard and 400-yard medley relay. Wei later went on to take her first solo victory of her college career in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke. In the last meet of the season, the Northwest Conference (NWC) Championships, Wei was part of the team that took seventh among the nine NWC schools.
Looking back on her performance in her first semester as a collegiate swimmer, Wei said, “I personally felt good about my own performances for the first few meets, and our performances as a team were excellent I would say, because each one of us gave out all of our efforts and swam our best at the moment.”
Wei is from Fushun, China but went to Cascade High School in Turner, OR. She said that back when she lived in Fushun, “I really liked hiking up to Mt. Gao’ershan. From the base of the mountain, there are steps up to various Buddhist shrines. The stairs will also light up in the evening, which is very beautiful. There are also benches and outdoor gyms along the way up.”
Wei’s favorite cartoon show to watch growing up was “Tom and Jerry”. She is an only child but has two stepsisters. Before Wei started swimming, she enjoyed dancing and also loved to play the Chinese piccolo. As she eased her way into swimming at the age of 10, Wei idolized world renowned swimmers like Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian.
After her first semester at Willamette, Wei said she was able to learn a lot about how college works. Her school load wasn’t too heavy so she was able to balance her workload and swimming. Transitioning into college can be a stressful and scary experience, but luckily, the swimming team helped Wei feel comfortable and welcomed. “After a couple of practices and the team retreat, I felt that our team cares very much about each individual and supports everyone no matter what, so I immediately know that this is going to be my ‘family,’” she said.
Wei went on to say, “My experience of swimming at the collegiate level against other schools is building up; I learn something new every time we compete against other schools. Swimming at the collegiate level is a very dedicated decision, and this decision shapes your education, friendships and seemingly every aspect of your life.”
Wei enjoys going to school and swimming, but when she has free time, she said, “You can find me hanging out with my dog, baking or watching movies.” Wei’s dog is a Siberian husky named Goggles.
Now being done with her first season, Wei will head into the offseason to train and prepare for next fall. Keep her on your radar when you come out to watch the WU swim team next year!