A year after etching her name into CIF-Southern Section lore, former Valencia swimmer Julia Wolf wasn’t done winning titles.
They just happened to come in a different state.
Wolf took home the 50-yard freestyle title at the Indiana High School Athletics Association Girls’ Swimming and Diving finals at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis with a time of 23.11 seconds. She was also the CIF-SS Division 1 50 free champion as a junior with Valencia.
The state title was a culmination of a move and a major life decision that has already paid dividends for Wolf. She elected to forego her senior year at Valencia to attend Bloomington South, next door to where she’ll be swimming in college at Indiana University.
“Out here, the state meet is massive,” Wolf said Thursday over the phone. “The crowd was going nuts the whole time and it was a really intense atmosphere.”
Wolf will likely be racing in front of big-time crowds for years to come. She was taken under the wing of Coley Stickels at Canyons Aquatic Club, who also trained Saugus alum and Olympic gold medalist Abbey Weitzeil.
When Stickels was named a sprinting coach at Indiana, Wolf followed him there, making her decision to commit with the Hoosiers that much easier. She was also selected to take part in the Olympic National Training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. in November, an honor given only to the top three 18-and-under swimmers throughout the United States in any given event.
Despite what looks to be a career that will extend far beyond high school, winning a state title in Indiana was of utmost importance to Wolf.
“That was definitely my No. 1 goal going into this season,” she said. “Going into it, I knew I had a chance to win it, but I don’t know if anybody else really did because I was new to the state.”
Wolf’s father Jay and mother Melissa were both in attendance to watch her win the state crown.
Selfishly, Jay admitted it was tough to watch his child move to Indiana while he stayed back in Santa Clarita. But the decision to move out there has been nothing but a positive as Julia acclimates to her college town while remaining close with Stickels.
“I think (the state title) validated everything,” Jay said. “It was an amazing way to wrap up her high school career.”
Julia had high praise for Paseo Aquatics coach Chris Dahowski, who coached her up until her junior year, and still chats with her and attends meets regularly.
“He basically got me into competitive swimming,” Julia said. “Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
There won’t be much of a layover for Julia heading into her freshman collegiate season. She’s expected to begin training with the Hoosiers the day after graduating from Bloomington South, and has already gotten to meet with some of her future teammates.
She’ll certainly have a leg up thanks to her decision to pack things up and move to the Midwest.
“No regrets at all with the move,” Julia said. “I was so nervous my first day (of school) here but it’s been an amazing opportunity and I feel like I’ve come pretty far. I’m so lucky to have all these people in my life that support me.”