PHOENIX, Arizona, June 13. KRISTINE Polley, a five-star prospect from the Class of 2009, is next in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings Profile series. Polley, who is from Marietta, Ga., swims for Sprayberry High and Stingrays Swimming.
Polley recently took ownership of her profile in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings powered by Take Your Marks, and has a pair of breaststroke Olympic Trials cuts. She's posted times of 1:12.26 in the 100 and 2:31.86 in the 200.
Polley also has a trio of NCAA Division I B cuts in the 100 breast (1:03.49), 200 breast (2:14.79) and 200 IM (2:03.43) and is still wide open in her recruitment.
Where and when did you start swimming?
When I was little, we had a backyard pool and I loved being in the water. I fell in chasing a ball when I was about three…before I knew how to swim. Luckily, my dad was nearby and noticed I had disappeared and pulled me out of the pool. After that, my parents had my brother and I take swim lessons at the YMCA. The instructor told my mom I should try a summer league, so I started that when I was six and joined a year round team when I was eight.
Who would you name as the most influential person and coach in your swimming career?
In the beginning of my swimming it would have to be my first coach, Tony Helfrich. He got me excited about the sport and made it so much fun. I think he really helped me develop my love for swimming and racing.
My current coach, Ian Goss, has helped me reach so many of my goals in swimming. He is always there to give me the support I need, and help me work through any problems in and out of the water. He has influenced me in the greatest way possible and helps me to strive for excellence everyday.
What, to this point, is your best moment in the sport and why?
There are so many! Swimming has given me so many opportunities and great moments. But, if I had to pick, I would have to say getting my first Trials cut and making the Junior Pan Pac team and going to Hawaii.
Walk us through a day of practice:
During the school year, I have morning practice 2-3 days a week from 5:30 – 7 a.m. and then daily from 4-7 p.m. Depending on where we are in training, we usually do about 45 minutes of dryland in the afternoons.
During the summer, I swim from 7-10 a.m., and then again 3-5 p.m.…we do this Mon-Thu and then once a day on Fri and Sat. Six of these are long course and four are short course.
What is your favorite set?
Hmm this is a tough one. I like doing double up sets, where you do a 50,100,150,200,250, and so on until you reach a 400. And then, go back down from the 400 doing a 350,300,250, etc. Everyone is divided into groups according to stroke and times. You start out going up on a certain interval and then you come back down on a faster interval.
What is your least favorite set?
Every year during Christmas break, we do a nine-hour practice…which our coach calls IHOP (Ian's House of Pain). It's three practices with about an hour break in between each. Not fun!
What are your short-term goals?
Really short term, I'd like to qualify for a third event for Trials, the 200 IM and make top 16 at Trials in 200 breast this summer.
What are your long-term goals?
I would have to say for college swimming NCAA finals and making the National team. Also, I think it's everyone's dream to have a shot at trying to make the Olympic Team. I have always had it in the back of my mind and maybe sometime in the future it could happen!
Academically, I'd like to maintain a high GPA and have a successful career that I enjoy.
What colleges are you interested in so far?
I'm really not sure about colleges yet. I'm excited about talking to different ones and getting to know the coaches and teams. It will be a tough decision, but I'm confident that I'll find one that will help me reach my goals in swimming and academically.
Is there anything else interesting that you'd like our readers to know about you?
I got my start in swimming because of an accident when I was little. I think it's important for everyone to learn to swim. During the summer, I lifeguard and teach swim lessons…which can be tough to do in between two practices a day. But it's worth it to see a three-year-old get over their fear of the water or a six-year-old get excited about learning to swim.
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