Valley Center athlete qualifies for every national swim event

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Caroline Tipton of Valley Center started her junior swimming season with an ambitious goal: to reach the state’s 11 swimming qualifying times.

“I was a little nervous for a few races, like the 100m butterfly and the 500m freestyle, but I had a goal and I set myself on that,” said Tipton. “It’s good to have a goal.”

While Tipton may have had doubts, her high school swimming coach Abra Thieme knew she was capable from their first day of training last year, before the spring season was called off in the middle of the season. pandemic.

“When I met her last year, we had a week of practice with the girls and we did time trials – her time trials were already reckoning times,” said Thieme. “When we got into the water for some time trials this year, and we already knew what to expect with Caroline.

As Thieme builds the Valley Center swim program, which is only in its third year, it’s important to have athletes like Tipton on board in order to lead by example.

“Caroline has really taken on this role of a good leader even though she is a junior,
said Thieme. “I think some girls can be intimidated by the quality of their swimming, but she’s so humble about it.

Tipton qualified for one of her most difficult events, the 100m butterfly, by 0.2 seconds. “I feel thrilled to have accomplished this goal, the second I looked up at that scoreboard after making the weather I was just brilliant,” said Tipton. “I looked over and saw my friends clapping so loud, it made me so happy – I just want to feel that after every event.

“It’s not just for herself, it’s so that we can all be her biggest fans on this team,” Thieme said.

While she can only compete in four state events, Tipton heads for the podium on her way to the state: “There are some good girls in the state, but I think I have a chance. against them. “

With another season with Valley Center to look forward to, Tipton will use her time as a benchmark as it becomes his biggest competition.

“Part of the reason it helped achieve that goal was for next year, my final year – now I have a guideline for my time, and what each event looks like so I can continue to. beat my times now that I have all the time status, ”Tipton said.

Because the Hornets do not have a diving coach, Tipton was unable to qualify for all 12 events as is, but she is considering setting a new goal for her senior season.

“Maybe next year I’ll try to steal the last event and set the school record,” Tipton said.

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