As a self described “Valley Girl,” Angele Parral says it’s hard to keep her off the beach, out of the water, and away from the sun. The Los Angeleno loves all the Southern California beaches, but names her favorites as Will Rogers State Beach, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach. A cold day for her hovers around 63 degrees. 

She knew she might be in for a rude awakening when she applied to all East Coast schools. “As much as I am going to miss my family, I’m very independent and I wanted something different,” she says.

Catholic University had everything she was looking for, including a Catholic mission, a criminology major, a swim team, and a chance for an FBI internship. Her end goal is to join the Navy.  

Parral says the welcome she received from the coaches and the Cardinal swimmers made it clear “this has to be the place to go. They kept in touch throughout my senior year. I felt like I was already part of the family.” Belonging to an online group of incoming swimmers, where she met new friends, eased any uncertainty about coming across the country to start college. “It’s amazing to arrive on campus already knowing so many people,” she says.

Parral, who excels at fly, breast, and individual medley, comes from a family of swimmers. Her mom and aunts and uncles all played water polo. She and her three younger brothers (triplets!) were on track and field teams before she switched to competitive swimming.

Parral says she appreciated the ability to live out her faith at Louisville High School, an all-girls Catholic college prep school on Mulholland Drive. She and her mom share a love of faith, daily Mass, and prayer. The two took a “girls trip” to Hawaii in July for some bonding time before she left for school. She says, “My plan for the next four years is to set the bar high, to excel, to make my mom proud, and to take time for prayer.”