CONCORD, CA (July 19, 2023) — Outstanding in the swimming pool and classroom, Van Fanos, began swimming in meets at the age of seven.
After exploring different sports throughout his childhood, he discovered a passion for swimming. He swam every summer for Springwood Swim Team from the time he was seven until 17.
In his final season he’s on the Dana Hills Swim Team as an 18-year-old. With the help of his first swim coach Brendin Brown, Van Fanos turned his passion for swimming into a talent that carried him throughout high school starting on the De La Salle junior varsity water polo team as a freshman. He transferred to Clayton Valley Charter after one semester and the rest of his high school career on the CVCHS varsity swimming and water polo teams.
Van Fanos reflects on his experience as an Ugly Eagle athlete fondly, noting that his “favorite part was the sense of camaraderie that came with being part of a team. The countless hours of practice, along with the collective competitive drive brought [me and my] teammates together, and, in the process, created some lifelong friendships.”
Van Fanos was first team all-Diablo Athletic League swimming this spring and throughout his time on the Ugly Eagles teams, he accomplished several goals, including qualifying for CIF State Meet during his junior and senior years of swimming and receiving the “Most Improved” award during his senior water polo season.
Van Fanos is appreciative of his Clayton Valley water polo coach Gabe Martin as well as both of his moms for the roles they each played in his success. In his time out of the pool at Clayton Valley he participated in the Engineering and Design Academy, Senior Men and Blue Crew, and maintained a 4.4 GPA. His hard work led him to UC Berkeley as an applied math major in hopes of becoming an actuary. His time as a Cal Bear begins next month.
CVCHS student journalists Corinne Jeandheur and Katherine Pugh wrote this Spotlight.
The Pioneer congratulates Damik and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for over three decades at Family Vision Care Optometry.
Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or a great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to firstname.lastname@example.org