Athena Liao
Athena Liao
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Urbana, Ill.
High School: Urbana High School
Position: Breaststroke, Fly

High School: Athena attended Urbana High School. She swam from 2005-07, lettering all three years, and ran track and field in 2008, where she also lettered. She was captain of her swimming team. Her 200-meter freestyle relay team was sectional champions in 2007. In 2005, Liao competed in the 200-meter breaststroke at senior and junior nationals, where she finished 36th and 11th, respectively. In 2006, she placed 4th at State in the 100-meter fly and the in the 100-meter breast. Her senior year she was Senior State Champion in the 200-meter breast. She was also Area Swimmer of the Year (2006-07), Scholastic All-American (2005-07), MVP (2006, 2007) and 2nd Team All-State in the 100-meter fly (2006) and 100-meter breaststroke (2005-06). Academically, she won 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: Athena is in Jonathon Edwards College. She is undecided on a major. In her free time, she enjoys photography, creative writing, making videos and discussing the future of our society. Her father Tim attended Beijing Language and Culture University, while her mother Keiko attended Senshu University. Why I Choose Yale: "I came on the recruit trip injured (I had a torn ACL, got surgery) and it did not seem to bother the coaches. They said I would recover quickly, and I would be okay. The other colleges I was looking at weren't interested in me anymore once they found out. But Yale stuck with me to the end."