LANCASTER, Penn., June 14. CAN we pick 'em or what?
In the "Junior Swimmer" section of this month's issue of Swimming World magazine, we feature 10 year-old Kate Riefenstahl of the Trident Swim Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as one of our two "Age group swimmers of the Month."
Last weekend, at a long course meet at Franklin Marshall College, Kate showed just how deserving of the recognition she is. The 10 year-old stroked the 50 meter backstroke in 32.99 seconds, breaking the national age group (NAG) record of 33.14 set by Beth Botsford nine years ago. Botsford went on to win Olympic gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the 100 meter backstroke at age 14.
Riefenstahl's coach, Pete Clark, was delighted with Kate's performance. "In 30 years of coaching," he said, "this is my first NAG."
Clark described Riefenstahl as "one of the quickest studies I've ever seen. You ask her to do something and she just goes out and does it. She has a tremendous natural feel for the water."
In her final meet as a 10 & under this weekend, Riefenstahl will go after Botsford's 100 meter backstroke record. Ironically, the meet is being held at the North Baltimore A.C., Botsford's home pool.