Westminster Christian School senior Caitlin Charlton is a wonderful student and a terrific athlete. During her high school career she has played basketball and softball, and competed on the swim team. She stopped playing basketball in her sophomore year to concentrate on softball and swimming.
Charlton is involved in the swim season this fall and she expects to do well enough to get through district and regional competition, and maybe even move on to the state championship swim meet. She swims the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle, the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Most swimmers at her level also swim for club teams, but Charlton does not. She devotes the extra time to club softball because she is such a good shortstop that colleges have come calling. In fact, she has already committed to play softball at Texas’ Baylor University next year.
The softball season doesn’t start until spring, but Charlton expects the team to be strong this year.
“I think we’re looking really good; we should make it to state this year,” she says. “Hopefully we will win state.”
Charlton says many of the top players on the team are seniors, so they have experience. And they are so talented; five of the girls have already committed to attend and play softball for various universities.
“I’ve played softball since I was in the second grade and I started travel ball when I was 10,” Charlton says.
The travel ball team that she plays for, the Miami Stingrays, travels across the country going from one tournament to the next, many of them important enough to give the team a national ranking.
“Last summer we went to Pennsylvania, then to Colorado and then we came to Miami for four days and then had to fly to Reno for a national tournament, then back to Miami and then we drove to Clearwater for another national,” she says. “I’m playing again this summer, but this will be my last one.”
Charlton will go to Baylor at the beginning of August after playing with the club team all summer. She says her coaches want her to play summer ball with the club team. It will be a bittersweet experience since the girls have been together since they played as 10 and under athletes.
Aside from sports, Charlton is a peer counselor at Westminster Christian, working with younger students who need someone to talk to. Their issues often pertain to friendships that have run into trouble or relationship problems. She tells the student she works with that they can tell her anything, but if they talk about doing harm to themselves or to someone else, she is under obligation to tell someone. Everything else will be confidential.
Charlton is in the leadership class and works alongside the student council on major Westminster events. She is the recipient of the Warrior Award and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Because of her interest in being a veterinarian, Charlton volunteered for Paws4You, a dog rescue group that sends dogs to PetSmart each weekend for adoption.
“I was one of the main volunteers and I would train the other volunteers,” she says.
Charlton also volunteered at a vet’s office, helping prepare animal patients for surgery and observing the procedures. She even handled the medications and utensils the vet needed during the surgeries.
Charlton also helps out at the Christ Fellowship Church in the nursery every Sunday, working with one-year-old boys.
One of the reasons Charlton decided to attend Baylor was because she wants to study pre-veterinary medicine and biology. She will know by the end of December whether she will be in the Honors College.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld