Quaker Valley’s Arriaga proves asset to swim team

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Monday, January 8, 2018 | 11:00 PM


A teenager who escaped political unrest in Venezuela has found a haven on the Quaker Valley girls swimming team.

Emiliana Arriaga has shined in sprinting events for the 2-0 Quakers.

Arriaga, a senior, moved to the United States from the capital of Caracas in September. She lives with her first cousin, Andres Hubsch, a standout on the Quaker Valley boys team.

Venezuela has had a wave of anti-government protests since April. People recently took to the streets in the South American country to demand pork be delivered for holiday meals.

Quaker Valley coach Erin Cawley said Arriaga has a lot of potential.

“Not only is she a talented swimmer, but her personality and smile bring great joy to our program,” Cawley said. “I am looking forward to seeing her continue to drop time and exceed her own expectations.”

Arriaga qualified for the Midwestern Athletic Conference championship meet next month in the 50-yard freestyle (29.99 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:24.87) in her first outing with the Quakers.

“I expect to improve my times and see where that takes me,” said Arriaga, who swam in Venezuela.

Arriaga plans to stay indefinitely and attend college in the United States.

She said it was rough leaving her parents and moving from a big city to a town.

Cawley said Arriaga and Hubsch have a great relationship, which eased the transition.

“I believe that he has played a major role in her adjustment to our community at (Quaker Valley),” Cawley said.

Hubsch said it has been exciting to have Arriaga on the squad.

“Knowing the transition myself, I have been able to answer any questions she has had,” said Hubsch, who came from Venezuela earlier.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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