Katie Grant ’15 competed in the NCAA Championships in Shenandoah, TX on March 27, 28, and 30. Grant competed in the 500-yard freestyle championship, where she finished 15th with a time of 5:00.02, and in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:56.04. In her final day of competition, Grant contested in the 1650-yard freestyle with a 17:10.44 time, placing 13th in the nation. Grant received All-American Honorable Mention honors in both the 500-yard and 1650-yard freestyle events.
It is truly a remarkable thing for Grant to make it to Championships, competing against the best collegiate swimmers in the nation and finishing top-20.
“Qualifying for NCAA’s has been a dream of mine since I was little,” Grant said. “Going into college I knew I was willing to do whatever it took to make this dream a reality, and starting from day one of my collegiate swimming career I have been working towards it.”
Prior to her collegiate career in swimming, Grant had a long history with the sport.
“I started taking lessons when I was about four and ironically failed almost every single swim lesson I took up until I joined a club team,” Grant said.
She started competitively swimming when she was eight, and when she was 12 she broke her rotator cuff, a devastating injury for most swimmers. Grant had to be out of the pool for five months.
“Although this, at the time, seemed like the end of the world, looking back on it now it taught me the work ethic I have today as well as gave me a whole new appreciation for the sport of swimming and reminded me why I fell in love with the water at such a young age,” Grant said.
Normally NCAA’s only takes the top 18 in the nation, but this year it only took the top 13, making Grant’s feat especially impressive.
Grant would like to attribute much of her success to the people around her.
“While most people say that swimming is purely an individual sport, I would strongly disagree, as there is no way I would have been able to make it to NCAA’s if it wasn’t for my family, friends, coaches, and teammates,” Grant said.
Grant attributes much of her success to her two F&M coaches, Ben Delia and Eliot Scymanski.
“My two coaches have, from day one, worked with me to become the best swimmer I could possibly become,” Grant said. “They have trained me, challenged me, pushed me, and transformed me into a swimmer I never thought I was capable of becoming. They have more faith in me than any coach ever has which has given me the confidence to accomplish any goal that I’m reaching for.”
Grant would also like to attribute much of her success to her teammates.
“Through this whole process my teammates have been incredible. Not a day went by when I was down at Nationals that I did not receive a good luck or congratulatory message from almost all of them,” Grant said. “They have taught me what it means for a team to be a family, and everyday I walked around the NCAA pool deck so incredibly proud to be wearing my F&M cap and representing susch an amazing group of men and women that make up the Dipswim family.”
The week could not have gone much better for Grant, and it was an experience she will never forget.
“The entire week at NCAA’s was surreal, and I made sure to take in every moment of it, as it had been something I had wanted for so long,” Grant said. “On top of that, becoming a two-time All-American while I was at Nationals made my first experience even more
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