LT swim sisters look to make state picturesque
Thursday, February 23, 2012 | | 1
For the fourth time, senior Katie Grose gained entry to the state swimming championship meet.
For the first time, freshman Megan Grose made it to the state meet in her first year swimming for Lake Travis. The younger sister, replicating the elder’s accomplishment of making the state meet as freshman, also marks the first time the school has sent sister swimmers to state meet.
“This year, getting the relay called up and being excited about it as well as having my sister go in an individual event – I feel like everything is falling into place this year,” Katie said.
Katie, 18, was the lone Lake Travis girls representative the past two years at the state meet, but she’ll have multiple teammates and her younger sister poolside at the Lee & Joe Jamail Swim Center at the University of Texas starting this Friday.
Megan, 15, learned of her state date via callups after the regional race (her 100 butterfly time qualified as one of the state’s best from the regionals). With a slotted position that would put her in the consolation finals if it stayed the same, she is hoping to surpass a few people ahead of her to make it the A finals of the second day.
After her state qualification, it wouldn’t be the first surprise.
“After regionals, she came into my room and said, ‘I got called up,’ ” Katie said, adding she didn’t expect to make state her freshman season. “I was surprised because our region is pretty competitive, but I was so happy for her.”
Megan added, “When I was in middle school I was like, ‘I wish I can get to state. But at the beginning of the year, I never really thought I could. I never expected it. So, it was a big surprise.”
While the older sister plans to dole out advice and guide the first-time state participate, for Katie there is a large goal looming.
This will be Katie’s fourth state meet overall and her third state meet for the 50 and 100 freestyle individual events. After going in the 400 relay her freshman year, she is heading back with a relay team this year, too, as part of the 200 freestyle relay team with Hannah Evans, Libby Linton and Sedera Zbranak.
Being the lone swimmer the last two years, Katie is reserved in her confidence, but not her expectations. There are fond memories of her freshman season, but she plans to make more memories to top even those with one mission – making the medal stand with a top-three finish, at least.
“Being a freshman, you don’t know how things will go because you are new to everything,” Katie said. “I want to get on the podium this year. It’s my turn. I feel like this year I expected great things, and I am trying to stay confident in myself and believe, but I don’t want to say anything about it really.
“I’m just trying to win state.”
Things nearly didn’t reach this point after Megan was disqualified in the 200 IM during the district meet for what she called a “silly mistake” prior to her having qualified for regionals in any event.
The team rallied around her immediately, then, Katie told her to throw all her confidence in the butterfly.
“Every single one of my teammates was there to tell me to brush it off and let me know I’ll have the next time and pep me up because I knew they knew been there before,” Megan said. “I had other events to come. I had no idea. I had a good cry.”
But then Meagan talked to her sister and received some good advice about staying confident.
“She told me be confident in that, and if I was confident in myself I would pull the best effort I could for my race,” Megan recalled.
The swim season has brought experiences new and familiar for the sisters, who plan to make T-shirts for the state meet experience. Megan attributes part of her success in the pool and meshing with the team to her sister, and has more excitement than nerves going into the state meet. Headed into the state meet it actually hadn’t yet dawned on Megan that this would mark the last time the sisters would swim together after their first season of swimming for the same team.
“It’s a happy moment, not a sad one,” Megan said. “We’re looking forward to it. We don’t have a lot of pictures together, which his really weird, but we can get a lot at state. And I think we’re making matching shirts for state. I definitely want to spend a lot of time on deck with her because she’s fun.”
“Your freshman year, you’re so excited to be there you can kind of lose focus,” Katie added. “It kind of messes with your mind, but you have to remember, it’s just another race. You have to go out there and race, and do your thing. It’s exciting. Take it in, but you’ve got to go out there and stay focused.”
The deck is set for the sisters to solidify their name in Lake Travis lore for years to come, and the moment the meet starts can’t get here soon enough.
“That’s what I’m really looking forward to – being able to go onto the pool deck and feel the energy from all the other swimmers competing,” Megan said. “I’ll eventually get really nervous, really soon. I’m just putting it off and hoping for the best swim I can have.
“Swimming for me is more about the people I’m with than the performance.”
She’ll be in good company Friday, fishing for more firsts.
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