OLYMPIC DREAMS: Iowa Teen Swims At Trials
This week the best swimmers from around the country are in Omaha for the 20-12 Olympic Trials. Among those swimmers is Des Moines’ 16-year-old Katharine Ross. Earning a trials birth while still in high school sounds impressive, but those who know Katharine best say they weren’t surprised.
“She’s one of those swimmers who’s really amazing but she’s humble about it. Everybody knows she’s great but she’s never one to boast which I love,” said McKenna Lynch, a friend of Katharine’s and fellow swimmer.
“She’s one of a kind when it comes to how much focus and technique work she does for her age,” said Assistant coach Ed Lichinsky, of Central Iowa Aquatics.
Ross is the first and only member of her team to qualify for the trials, but she didn’t go alone. There was a big Iowa crowd cheering her on, including some of her teammates like Alex Johnson. Johnson explained, “The Olympic trials are one of those events that`s a lifetime experience.” Johnson said seeing some well-known and famous swimmers like Michael Phelps was pretty cool, but seeing Katharine, one of his own teammates compete, “was a highlighting moment of my life.”
Katharine swam the 100 meter breast stroke early Tuesday afternoon. She was seeded 51st, and finished 37th. She also finished first in her heat. She may not be going to the Olympics this year, but coaches and teammates say they will be surprised if she doesn’t head to the 2016 Olympic Trials and make the team then.
“She has a long career ahead of her that`s going to be filled with new opportunities and lots of success, because she has that drive,” said Lichinsky.