Birthday:March 7, 1996
Hometown: Cochranville, PA
College: Arizona State University
Coach: Bob Bowman
Some athletes await their “lightbulb moments” patiently–the practice in which they’re suddenly surging through the water as if it were parting for their every stroke, when they’ve finally mastered a new technique. Others seek it out, sifting through videos and expert advice in hopes of coming across that clip, that picture, or that quote that offers striking clarity. In any event, athletes hope that the “lightbulb moment” culminates to an ultimate personal victory when all the lights come on.
But what if that moment culminates to an Olympic dream?
“My ‘aha moment’ was actually in 2016 when I was getting ready for Olympic Trials,” Cierra Runge recalls, “I realized I could push myself further and harder than I thought I could. In that moment, I knew that I could do it.”
It wasn’t just a sudden burst of self-confidence; it was a turning point in Cierra’s career, one that ended with a 2016 trip to Rio de Janeiro and an Olympic gold medal. Now, she’s ready to guide younger swimmers to “aha” moments of their own.
“I am excited to work with kids to help them better themselves in the sport that I have loved and been a part of for so long. I know that if I got tips from a senior swimmer when I was 12, it would have meant the world to me, so I would love to be that possible someone to the next generation.”
You would be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified than Cierra. With a special gift for communicating and breaking down stroke mechanics, Cierra ushers swimmers to a more thorough understanding of their bodies’ hydrodynamics. Focusing on breath timing, freestyle catch, kick, bodyline, and turns, Cierra draws from her own experiences in racing (at the Olympic level) to equip her participants with the sport’s most necessary skills.
“I am a very outgoing, fun, personable clinician who can break down drills and strokes in a way that will make sense to the swimmers. I do my best to make what I do fun and engaging while also making it applicable. Then, swimmers can translate what they learn to their everyday practices.”
A true believer in repetition, Cierra hopes that participants will establish good habits by homing in on a few of her coveted “tips and tricks,” implementing them each and every day. After all, as Cierra says, “What you practice daily is what your body will do during races and meets!”
It’s not all work and no play with Cierra, however. When she’s not grinding through sets in the pool, you can find her glued to the Food Network or camping out in a local coffee shop–mental releases that she finds to be crucial in achieving her athletic goals.
“I would encourage swimmers to do small things that they enjoy on a regular basis. There’s a lot going on in the world, and making time to do something for you, even if it’s just for 5 minutes, is important to reset and enjoy life.”
Learn how to maximize your talent, skill, and happiness within the sport. Sign up for a clinic with Cierra today!