Caleb Riggs

Peninsula High School senior is an accomplished swimming champion who has sets his sights on the Olympic Games

Students of DistinctionApril 9, 2014 

Caleb Riggs is an accomplished athlete and a well-rounded student. He is a member of the Peninsula High School swimming and diving team as well as a club team, and he practices and competes year-round.

Riggs started training with a club when he was 10.

“There was something about swimming that relaxes me,” he said. “I would use it to relax after a stressful day at school because swimming is quiet.”

During the winter season, Riggs practices about six hours a day between the two teams. The peak of his career was when he qualified for junior nationals last summer. He went on to compete in North Carolina and placed in the top 50 in two events for swimmers 18 and younger.

Last year, Riggs placed second at the Class 3A state championships with Peninsula High, and he won the 100-yard breaststroke title in February. He holds two school records and two club records.

Riggs’ goal is to make the NCAA finals and to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials by his sophomore year. He hopes to get closer to his Olympic goal this summer.

“It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and sticking with it,” he said. “Even missing two days a week affects you a lot.”

Riggs also has maintained a 3.0 grade-point average while he’s taken several advanced-placement classes.

“Caleb is not afraid to put in the hours and work to achieve his goals, both in the classroom and in the pool,” Peninsula High School English teacher Lynda Richards said. “I can count on Caleb to always give me his best effort the first time.”

Among Riggs’ commitments are community service.

“Caleb is a very well-rounded individual, giving time and energy to volunteer positions at the Humane Society and working with his youth group on a mission trip to Tijuana to build houses,” Richards said. “He learns from all of these experiences and has become a very compassionate and giving person.”

Riggs plans to study pre-medicine at Birmingham Southern College. His goal is to become a physical therapist, an interest that comes from personal experiences. His father is in the U.S. Army, and his great-grandfather was wounded while he served in the military.

Riggs especially wants to work with wounded soldiers.

“It’s interesting to me because you can fix things, and I want to help people,” he said.

Caleb Riggs

Category: Athletics

Education: Senior, Peninsula High School

GPA: 3.0

Parents: Angel and Greg Riggs

Activities/achievements: Class 3A state swimming champion in 100-yard breaststroke, two school records, All-America consideration, Most Valuable team award, Coaches Award, team captain; two club team records; second at state; junior national qualifier; volunteer for Tacoma Humane Society, Parent to Parent program.

Favorite teacher: Lynda Richards, English, “because she makes class fun and not feel as strict but still able to learn and focus.”

Best thing about high school: “It is very accepting. No one is mean and looks down on others, and it is easy to fit in and make friends.”

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