Athena Liao
Athena Liao
Year: Jr.
Hometown: Urbana, Ill.
High School: Urbana
Position: Breaststroke/IM

2010-2011 (Junior): Received the Davies Award for outstanding performance in breaststroke swimming… Second team All-Ivy as a member of the 400-yard medley relay that took second at the Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships… 200-yard breaststroke: Finished second at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 2:12.64, earning second team All-Ivy honors and an NCAA B cut… Won the event four times during the regular season, setting a pool record at Cornell… 100-yard breaststroke: Finished third at Ivy League Championships with a time of 1:02.13, earning an NCAA B cut… Won the event three times during the regular season, setting a pool record at Cornell… Fastest time prior to the Ivy League Championships was 1:03.43 in the prelims at Short Course Nationals… 200-yard IM: Finished 18th at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 2:03.80…

2009-2010 (Sophomore): 200-yard breaststroke: Finished fifth at the Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships with a time of 2:16.54, earning her first career NCAA B cut… Took second in the event at the Columbia, Cornell and Penn/Dartmouth meets… Fastest time prior to the Ivy League Championships was 2:19.76 against Columbia… 100-yard breaststroke: Finished fourth at the Ivy League Championships with a time of 1:03.45... Fastest time prior to the Ivy League Championships was against 1:05.57 against Columbia…  200-yard IM: Finished 16th at Ivy League Championships with a time of 2:07.59… Fastest time prior to the Ivy League Championships was 2:09.16 at Boston University’s Terrier Invitational.

2008-2009 (Freshman): 200-yard breaststroke: Finished ninth overall with a time of 2:24.31 at Boston University’s Terrier Invitational… 100-yard breaststroke: Finished 10th with a time of 1:07.40 at the Terrier Invitational… Notes: Spent the majority of the 2008-09 season injured and on the sidelines.

Before Yale: Attended Urbana High School, Ill.… Swam from 2005-07, lettering all three years, and ran track and field in 2008, also lettering… Captain of swim team… 200-yard free relay was sectional champions in 2007… Competed in the 200-meter breaststroke at 2005 Senior and Junior Nationals, finishing 36th and 11th, respectively… Placed fourth at the State Championships in the 100-yard fly and fifth in 100-yard breast in 2006... Illinois Senior State Champion in the 200-yard breastroke in 2008… Area Swimmer of the Year (2006-07), Scholastic All-American (2005-07), MVP (2006, 2007) and Second Team All-State in the 100-meter fly (2006) and 100-meter breaststroke (2005-06)… Received the IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award (2006-08), the Urbana High Monogram Award (2004-07), the Big 12 scholar-athlete award (2006-08) and the Urbana Scholar Award (2004).

Personal: Member of Jonathan Edwards College... Majoring in Psychology... Member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Japanese American Students Union, Danceworks... Enjoys cute animals, creative work, skating, and singing and dancing in the car... Father, Tim, attended Beijing Language and Culture University…Mother, Keiko, attended Senshu University.

Why I Chose Yale: "I came on the recruit trip injured (I tore my ACL and got surgery) but it did not seem to bother the coaches. They said I would recover quickly, and I'd be okay. The other universities I was looking at weren't interested anymore once they found out, but Yale stuck with me to the end."