Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, one of the fastest collegiate sprinters ever, will finish up the semester at Auburn, and train through the Olympic Games, and then head around the coast to train in Miami.
Vanderpool-Wallace is making the hop as much for “real life” purposes as she is for swimming. While in Miami, she will be taking a class at Florida International University to finish her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and she has an opportunity for a highly-competitive event planning internship in the party capital of the US – an ideal situation for her.
The internship is coincident with the fact that former Auburn assistant Aaron Ciarla, who headed to Miami last year as an assistant (and was just this spring named the Associate Head Coach of the Hurricanes) will be there to continue very similar routines to the elite training she had under sprint-genius Brett Hawke at Auburn.
“Because I already know Aaron and he knows about me and my swimming, it’s a comfortable transition to make,” Vanderpool-Wallace said of reuniting with her former coach.
Vanderpool-Wallace is a three-time NCAA Champion, the U.S. Open Record Holder in the 100 yard free, a 2010 World bronze medalist in the 50 free (short course) for her native Bahamas. This won’t be her first stint in the Sunshine State – she went to high school at Bolles further north in Jacksonville.
At the Olympics, Vanderpool-Wallace made the final in the 50 free, and just missed in the 100 by finishing 10th overall.
Unlike some of the other high-profile moves we saw earlier this year, Vanderpool-Wallace waited until after the Olympics to move.
“I feel like right after the Olympics is the best time to make a giant leap and try something new. I feel that I should move away from Auburn and experience life outside of this small town,” she gave as a true post-graduate perspective.
It sounds like she’s looking ahead to opportunities beyond swimming (not that she’s planning to retire anytime soon), and also using swimming as a vehicle to experience different parts of the world, which is something that most of us don’t get after college.
As for her home in Alabama, “I will really miss Auburn, my teammates and especially Brett Hawke as well as the other coaches that have helped me along the way, but I am super excited to leave and see where life takes me. It isn’t completely out of the question to maybe one day return to Auburn, but for right now my senses tell me that Miami is where I need to be.”