Cesar Diaz and Coach Pedro - Alcatraz Swim With the Centurions photo by Alisa Brozinsky
Cesar Diaz, 17, is an athlete and student at Las Lomas High school. He swims year round for the Walnut Creek Aquabears. His first open water water swim was Tiburon Mile, where he finished second place for for his age group at the age of 12. He has done multiple open water swim events such as Escape from Alcatraz, Around Alcatraz, Treasure Island twice, and The Governor’s Island swim in New York. He has been a coaching assistant for the Aquabear Swim team every summer since he was 12 years old and is looking for colleges this year. Cesar Diaz is the up-and-coming athlete to watch out for.
How did you get interested in swimming?
My 2 older sisters are great swimmers and they had inspired me. I always want to become as good as them. Swimming is a team sport but at the same time is an individual sport. Swimming had taught me discipline and time management. Open water swimming is more challenging than swimming pool. In open water, you never know what you are going to encounter, and when you are out there in the open water you got to be more alert of your surroundings, and never panic if something unexpected happens.
Are you involved in a swim team or any other sports?
I have done baseball, karate, and water polo. I’m currently year round swimmer for Walnut Creek Aquabears Swim team in Walnut Creek, and I swim for Las Lomas High School during the season. Every summer for the past five years I have been assisting my coaches at the Walnut Creek Aquabears with the younger kids in swimming. Every day is a challenge when you teach young kids.
What are your future plans for school and for swimming goals?
I’m a senior in High school, and my goal is to be part of college swim team. I’m applying for out of state colleges in the east. I want to continue my open water swim to prepare myself and my sisters to complete the English Channel in the near future.
When did you do your first Open Water swim?
My first open water swim was Tiburon Mile when I was 12 years old and I got second place for 12 under. Since then open water has been my passion. I’ve done Treasure Island open water events, Lake Berryessa, Governor’s Island In NY, Around Alcatraz, and Centurions.
To compete with many strong and fast swimmers. Also I had set and prepared my mind for some time to be one of the first ones to finish this race.
How did you feel after?
I felt good and satisfied to accomplish my goal. It made me realize that hard work is well paid back and is a very good feeling!
What helps you get through the race and motivates you?
To get me through, I have to eat and sleep well. I have to visualize and analyze my race before hand. Number one is to have confidence in yourself, believe in yourself, and know that you can do it! What motivates me the most is that open water swimming is always challenging, it takes me beyond. It’s like therapy for my body, brain and soul.
UPDATE: Cesar Diaz won the 1st Annual Alcatraz Classic in 29:44. We told you to watch out for him!