Best Friends are the Best Athletes


Photo by Jeinily Bencon

Lucas Giron and Adam Abougendia

   Best friends can have some of the biggest impacts on your life, they keep you going when you need them the most. This is particularly true when it comes to two of Pembroke Pines Charter’s top athletes, Christian Tijero and Sumedh Edavalluri. They met in the early days of elementary school and have been the best of friends ever since. As a result, they have gone on to do incredible things in the sports world, without their friendship being sacrificed. 

   Christian Tijero, one of the top swimmers at PPCHS, has further backed up his case as to why to consider him as one of the best swimmers in the state. During the month of September, he went to a 5-day swimming competition in Lima, Peru. Christian was competing for a spot on the Peruvian national swimming team to represent them in the South American Championship. Competing in one of the biggest sporting venues in Peru called Villa Deportiva Nacional (VIDENA), Christian was competing with about 400 kids. Christian chose to compete in his strongest events which were freestyle and butterfly. For not having competed in Peru in almost 5 years, Christian felt some nervousness and anxiety. Fortunately, his best friend, Sumedh Edavalluri, was able to ease these feelings, even if it was virtually. Christian explains that , “I feel like we both understand each other, and that I know he’s going to be there for me, and I’ll be there for him.” Christian went on to compete in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle and the 100, 200 and 300 meter butterfly. Despite normal swim competitions where they have preliminaries and finals, this swim meet only had finals. This only bumped up the tension for Christian. In order to make it he needed to get within the top two places. Unfortunately, his top place was fourth which just wasn’t enough to make it on the team. Regardless of that, Christian improved his times and got within the top 10 swimmers in Peru. He went from 16th place to 4th place in the whole country which was a great accomplishment for him. Christian is ready to come back to compete in Peru and is grateful for the opportunity he was given. He knows he wouldn’t have been able to do this competition without the support of his best friend. 

   As an aspiring Djokovic-inspired tennis player, junior Sumedh Edavalluri has all the attributes needed to take his game to the next level. Already competing at the highest level of tennis here in the state of Florida, Sumedh has played in numerous tournaments against top college prospects and post-graduate opponents. Adding to the fact that he is enrolled in the most difficult of classes here at Charter, Sumedh is constantly looking for ways to deflect the stress, anxiety, and pressure his life has in store for him. Lucky for Sumedh, his best friend Christian Tijero provides that outlet he needs just to unplug from his day-to-day. Edavalluri expressed, “Him and I always bounce our energies off each other, we bring different dynamics to the table and that’s what I love about us.. That’s what I love about all of our friends to be honest.” Sumedh just competed in one of the biggest tournaments in South Florida in which he took home a cash prize near $1,000 where he played and defeated the top high school athletes in Florida, and even from the University of Miami.