Athlete of the Week: Sam Christenson

Sam Christenson has a simple goal.

When you ask him about it, his smile lights up as he points to the north wall at the Princeton High School pool.

That wall is where all the school records are posted. Christenson’s name isn’t on the wall. But he believes that it will be — and someday soon.

Christenson swims the breaststroke for the Princeton High School swimming team. Next to the word “breaststroke” on that wall of fame is the number 59.17, as in 59.17 seconds. That’s the school record set by Chris Williams.

He has about six seconds to shave off his time, but he fully believes that record is attainable.

“I’m going to give it a shot,” he said about shattering Williams’ record.

Christenson is a relative newcomer when it comes to swimming. But he’s tackled the sport like a true champion.

He never swam a lap until the seventh grade.

“I nearly drowned during swimming lessons,” he said with a smile.

But he took to swimming like a fish in water. A week after learning how to swim he joined the PHS boys swim team.

It wasn’t long before he was swimming year-round and attending camps at colleges where he was able to work on his stroke.

“I got hooked pretty fast and liked the competition,” he said. “I really wanted to win.”

And win, he did.

By 10th grade he was swimming in the state tournament. It’s a feat he followed up last year as a junior. He fully expects to make his third state appearance next month.


Favorite food: Stir-fry

Favorite color: Green

Favorite movie: Jurassic Park

Favorite class: Band

Favorite actor: George Clooney


Favorite sport other than swimming: Soccer

Family: Dad Kenny; Mom Joy; older brothers Chris and John