College Recruit Rankings Profile: Five-Star Sarah Henry, Class of 2010

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 17. THE next prospect in our College Recruit Rankings Profile series is Sarah Henry. A five-star breaststroker/IMer, she swims for the Raleigh Swim Association and will be in the serious recruiting hunt next year since she's going to be a junior this coming season.

Henry, who keeps her profile in the Swimming World College Recruit Rankings powered by Take Your Marks up to date, has posted four times that would have qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials this year.

She clocked a 1:10.70 in the 100 breast, 2:30.45 in the 200 breast, 2:17.40 in the 200 IM and 4:54.72 in the 400 IM.

Additionally, Henry would have qualified for the 2008 NCAA Division I Championships in the 200-yard breast (2:13.22) and 400-yard IM (4:14.69).

Where and when did you start swimming?
I started swimming when I was a child in Canada. My parents thought it was very important for me to be aware of the water since every summer we went swimming in the lake. I was about four or five years old, so this was around 1996. My first swim lessons were on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario. I joined a competitive swim team when my family moved to Raleigh when I was 8 years old.

Who would you name as the most influential person and coach in your swimming career?
My most influential person would be a wonderful girl named Brei Buzek. I met her when I was about 11 at a swim team outing at a skating rink. From that first day, she has always taken me under her wing. She is six years older than me, and I have always looked up to her as a big sister. She always seems to have the right advice, and she has never missed one of my late night phone calls when something is on my mind. She is driven, independent, and she will always tell you the truth no matter what.

I believe that each and every coach I have had has made meaningful contributions to my swimming. I have experienced a real variety of personalities and coaching styles. My swimming skills today are really a culmination of all their past efforts. Chuck Kaylor was my coach when I was about 12 years old and, under his direction, I started to get really serious about swimming. I had a lot of success under Dan Flack, until he departed for Baylor School. My current coaches, Kit Raulerson and Dan Ohm, have made significant contributions to my swimming as well as my personal growth.

What, to this point, is your best moment in the sport and why?
My best swimming moment thus far would be at Sectionals 2007 at Auburn. I was swimming the 200 IM in finals and I remember I was in lane 6 with Mary Descenza in lane 4. After the breaststroke leg, I was winning the heat and I was completely ecstatic. Although I got completely killed on the last 50 meters, I placed third overall with a 2:19.32. I had memorized the National Junior Team cuts to use as motivation during training so as soon as I looked at the timing board I knew I had made my first National Team. Making the cut to compete in Australia for the USA was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

Walk us through a day of practice:
A typical summer practice would be getting up about 5:15 a.m., waking up my brother Andrew, grabbing a bagel, and driving the two of us to practice. Our team is based out of the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. We arrive about 5:45 and I might stretch or try to get in five more minutes of sleep on the bleachers. At 6, we all get in the water and practice until 8:30. After practice I drive home, grab something to eat, and read or watch some TV. At around 11:30, I go to bed, and take a nap until 2:25. I grab a quick snack and some water and head back to the pool at 2:45. Practice starts at 3:30 and goes until 5:30 or 6 depending on the day. Twice a week, the team provides a Pilates instructor for dry land. After practice I go home, eat dinner, read, get online, and then head to bed!

What is your favorite set?
My favorite set is the IM challenge.
4 x 100 fly 1:20 + 400 IM 5:00
4 x 100 free 1:10 + 400 free 5:00
4 x 100 back 1:20 + 400 IM 5:00
4 x 100 free 1:10 + 400 free 5:00
4 x 100 breast 1:30 + 400 IM 5:00
4 x 100 free 1:10 + 400 free 5:00
4 x 100 IM 1:20 + 400 IM 5:00
4 x 100 free 1:10 + 400 free 5:00
descend the 100's 1-4 and the 400's by round

I did this scy on the same intervals

What is your least favorite set?
My least favorite set is anything dealing with breath control.

What are your short-term goals?
My short terms goals this upcoming short course season are to swim a time that would be a top eight finish at NCAAs, and to work on my off-events/strokes.

What are your long-term goals?
To get established with a top college swim program that will get me where I need to be for Olympic Trials in 2012. I would also like to keep working my way up the ladder on the U.S. national teams.

What colleges are you interested in so far?
So far I am definitely just keeping an open mind about what school I want to attend. I do have a short list of schools in mind, however I will ultimately make my decision based on the coach, the team, the academics, and the atmosphere that fits me personally. I know that with the list of my priorities, I cannot be certain what schools I am seriously interested in until I actually visit the school and the team.

How is the recruiting process going?
Since I'm just going into my junior year, it's hard to resist bombarding coaches with questions and to not approach them at meets. Right now, I am getting a lot of mail from a wide variety of schools that show interest in me. With another year to go until I can actually speak to coaches, I am just constantly keeping up with meet results and the upcoming recruiting classes that are posted online. My coaches Kit Raulerson and Dan Ohm also have a lot of insight into the college recruiting process, so I rely heavily on them to help me out with everything.

Is there anything else interesting that you'd like our readers to know about you?
I take academics very seriously. I have a 5.0 GPA and challenge myself with difficult courses for a person my age. This year, my junior year, I will be taking AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Honors US History, Honors Spanish IV, Honors English III, AP English III, Honors Physics, and Honors Psychology. My ultimate goal is to get a PhD and to direct my career towards astronomy. I am also a HUGE fan of the Twilight series.

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