Thursday, June 13, 2024

Class of ’23 CHS Alum Heading to Olympic Trials

Coronado High School Class of 2023 Alum, Samuel Quarles, will compete in the Olympic Trials. Photo Courtesy of Sam Quarles

Coronado Alum, Samuel Quarles, will compete in the 100 Butterfly at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials June 15 through 23 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Samuel recently finished his freshman year at University of California, Berkley as a Computer Science Major and a member of their Division 1 Swim Team. Samuel holds a host of records at CHS, CIF and for San Diego County, and during his four years living in Coronado was a three time San Diego Swimmer of the Year, a two time MVP for Coronado High School’s swim team and an eight time school record holder.

Samuel Quarles at 9 years old. Photo courtesy of The Quarles family.

Samuel grew up in a Navy family and moved to Coronado from Virginia Beach after he finished his 8th grade year. He joined Coronado Swim Association and the Coronado High School Team and achieved great success in his time here. Samuel started swimming at 5 years old with a summer league and advanced to a year round club at the age of 7. He played football and swam for years, until at the age of 14 he decided to focus solely on swimming because he enjoyed it and he thought that was where he would best be able to achieve his goals.

The Quarles family, left to right, Samuel, his parents Eric and Amber, and his sister Chloe. Photo courtesy of Sam Quarles

The Quarles family retired from the Navy in Coronado so Samuel continues to call it home. Samuel shared how much the support of his family led him to his success in swimming. “My family has supported me immensely throughout my swimming career. I would be nowhere if it weren’t for their time commitments over the last 12 years. Since I was very little my mom has made me breakfast after practice, my dad has worked out with me, and they have sat through countless hours of other kids swimming just to watch a fraction of a minute long race, with the hopes that I get the goal I was shooting for. I am thankful for all of my grandparents who check in on my results every time I swim too.”

Swimming runs in the family at the Quarles household. Samuel’s younger sister, Chloe, is a junior at Coronado High School and recently broke the 200 IM record, held by Alex Rodman since 2013. Chloe also qualified for the 2024 CIF state swimming and diving championships with a time of 56:58 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, and broke her own past school record of 57:92 seconds at CIF finals May 4. Samuel shared “I also couldn’t be more grateful for or proud of my sister. She has been there rooting me along the whole way, but for the majority of years she has trained right alongside me and her hard work inspires me everyday. I cannot wait to see what more she does after already breaking two school records.”

Samuel Quarles will compete in the Olympic Trials for the 100 Butterfly. Photo Courtesy of Sam Quarles

Samuel was recruited to swim at Cal Berkeley, who held back to back NCAA National Titles in 2022 and 2023. He said, “While I was in high school I swam a variety of events but specialized the most in freestyle, specifically the 100 and 200 freestyle. Since getting to Cal I have swam pretty much everything at least once but I seem to be leaning more into becoming a butterflyer and sprint freestyler, with individual medley races from time to time(100 fly, 50 free, 100 free). I currently have a 53.56 in the 100 meter butterfly, and at Olympic Trials I would love to crack under the 53 second barrier, but I wouldn’t be disappointed with any best time.”

When asked what his future goals are, Sam said, “My aspirations are to continue to try and balance my life inside and outside of the classroom at Cal. At Cal I have become a lot more passionate about my academics and I hope to be able to keep that going. I would love to eventually make a USA Swimming national team and be able to win an NCAA national title whether that is on a relay, individually, or as a team.”

Samuel trains nine times a week in the pool and adds three lifting workouts each week to his regime. He said he works in running as well to try and improve aerobic capacity. He is currently swimming with Sea to Desert Swim Association (SDSA) when not training at UC Berkley. When asked what he would say to young ones with big dreams, Sam said, “For swimmers who have a goal or dream of swimming in college or beyond I would say to be patient. Swimming is a sport where your hard work can take a long time to truly seem worth it. There was a long time where I really hated swimming because it seemed like everyone was taller and everyone was improving and I wasn’t, but after some time I finally got over the hump and  all the early mornings were worth it. That is a process that repeats itself but is very rewarding.”



Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a retired Naval Aviator and Public Affairs Officer whose post-Navy career includes freelance writing, PR Consulting and a two year stint as the San Diego Padres Military Affairs Advisor. Having been stationed in various parts of the country including Washington D.C., Florida and Hawaii, Jeannie appreciates how amazing the Coronado community is and loves the experience her children have had growing up here. Jeannie earned her BS in Marine Biology from Auburn University, her MS in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego and her MA in Communication and Media Relations at San Diego State University. A life-long learner and avid traveler Jeannie enjoys writing travel pieces, Navy stories and anything else that will broaden her perspective. When she is not working you will find her watching her boys play sports, walking Odin at dog beach, hiking, playing beach volleyball or spending time with the family.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

More Local News