Denver7 | Sports


Monarch HS swimmer chasing Olympic dreams

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 01:16:36-05

You've heard the story a million times: child prodigy finds success. Everybody cheers.

But that isn't Katey Lewicki's story.

"I used to get [disqualified] every time I’d swim backstroke,” says Lewicki, a senior at Monarch High School. “I wasn't very good."

Early on in her swimming career, the pool was a place for social activity.

"I decided to stick with it because all my friends did it,” says Lewicki. “I had to stay with it because that was my whole social group."

But then one day, as kids so often do, Katey Lewicki grew.

“When I turned 14 everything just clicked and I knew after that swimming was really for me," says Lewicki.

She started gliding through the waves - piling up wins and starting her trek towards Olympic trials.

“Every swimmer's goal is to swim at Olympic trials,” says Lewicki. “In my best event, which is the 100-meter backstroke, I'm about a second - less than a second - off. I'm close, but not there yet."

In swimming, a second can feel like an eternity. The difference between being invited to the trials and being left at home could be as trivial as one stroke, one kick during a turn.

But Katey embraces that small margin for error.

“It can be frustrating but it's also rewarding,” she says. “There's no other sport where if you drop 0.2 seconds it's the biggest deal in the world. In swimming that 0.2 can mean everything."

On place she leans on for comfort is her early experience of floundering in the pool.

Katey wasn’t always the best swimmer, and that determination learned while climbing up the ranks is helping her now shave fractions off the clock.

"I really liked the challenge of not being the best and knowing that I could really get places if I just tried and kept working at it,” she says. "That determination I've had to learn from swimming has really helped me in school and everyday life."