With the end of the high school swimming season complete and a college already selected, some seniors might decide to take a little time off.
Not Katherine Huff.
The Lakeside swimmer trained for 18 to 20 hours each week during the high school season. Now she’s preparing for the U.S. Olympic Trials, to be held June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb., and has increased her training to 25 hours each week. That includes a training trip to Naples, Fla., over spring break with members of her Aiken-Augusta Swim League (ASL) team.
At the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA swimming finals in February, Huff placed second in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle, as the Lady Panthers finished in 13th place.
While putting her all into getting ready for the trials, Huff said she’s not concerned with where she finishes.
“I’ll focus on dropping times and see where we are,” said Huff, who will swim the 50 free and 100 free in Omaha. “I want to lower my times and I’ll be happy to go to college after that.”
She expects the competition to be varied.
“There will be a lot of college kids, some my age, and Olympians who have been there before like Dara Torres,” she said.
Helping get her ready is Adam Byars, who has been her coach since she was in sixth grade.
“He’s my everything,” Huff said. “He turned me into a mature swimmer.”
Strong coaching is one of the reasons she decided to swim for Texas A&M.
“I love the atmosphere there and the girls there,” Huff said. “The coach is known for taking girls who were not necessarily the best in high school and making them world class. I know he can make me one of the best.”
While at Texas A&M, Huff plans on earning a degree in kiniesology.
While runners experience a “runners high,” Huff has found the equivalent in the pool.
“Flying on top of the water is the best feeling ever,” she said. “It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it feels like you’re on fire.”