Student Athlete of the Week: Izzy Bradley
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- It was not exactly love at first sight for Izzy Bradley and swimming when she first jumped in the pool.
"The first practice ever was actually terrible," Bradley said, "I cried, I thought I was going to drown, I didn't want to go back, but I did. It took honestly years for me to get comfortable with it at the meets I was so nervous."
Luckily Izzy stuck with the sport because only a few years later she helped lead Monticello to the program's first VHSL Class 3 State Title and the school's first ever women's state title. Bradley also won multiple individual state titles over her career with the Mustangs.
"For such a small team we really kind of pack a punch in terms of talent," Monticello swimming coach Jennifer Csapo said, "But what makes Izzy really unique is just how she's a connector, she really brings people together."
Down the road from Monticello, Bradley swam in meets at the Aquatics and Fitness Center, home of the University of Virginia. But until she reached out to UVA head coach Todd DeSorbo, she never considered staying home.
"I really wasn't sure, I thought I wanted to get out of Virginia, out of town and just explore those options, but honestly the first time that I talked to Todd UVA was at the top of my list," Bradley said, "I truly couldn't see myself anywhere else, they check all the boxes."
"I wasn't shocked because of course she deserves it," Csapo said when Bradley was offered by Virginia, "More just unbelievable amount of pride in what she's been able to accomplish."
Bradley committed to UVA in the fall of 2020, two years later and she is set to join the two-time defending national champions. The Monticello state champion is eager to join the rising dynasty in college swimming.
"I hope they'll help me become the best athlete that I can be," Bradley said, "They're absolutely incredible and I'm just so grateful for Todd and the rest of the staff for giving me the opportunity because it really is just like once-in-a-lifetime."
"She's such a good fit, yes she's a phenomenal athlete, we already know she's a phenomenal athlete, but she's also just a really great student and person to have on a team," Csapo said, "So I really cannot wait to see what improvement she makes at UVA."