PHOENIX, Arizona, May 26. GWEN Blythe, who swims for Phil Bingenheimer at Colleyville Heritage High in Colleyville, Texas, and Bill Christensen at the North Texas Nadadores, in Southlake, Texas, is the next subject of our continuing Promising Seniors-To-Be series on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com
As of the May 24 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) release of All-American candidates, Blythe is the fifth-ranked 100 breaststroke in the country with a time of 1:02.33. Meanwhile, she owns a listed time of 2:07.42 in the 200 IM.
Blythe took time out at the end of her spring semester to complete an interview with SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.
Was there a watershed mark in your career that made it clear you had a gift for the sport and could achieve big things?
No specific mark. I am just thankful that as I get older I still improve.
What type of interaction do you have with your coach when it comes to training? What kind of input do you have?
In high school, we do a lot of 100s sprinting to help our endurance. But, in club practice, our sets are much more fit for us. For example, breaststrokers split up and swim breaststroke sets, while butterfliers swim butterfly sets.
What are your goals for your senior season?
To improve a little bit more all round on my strokes, because I feel as if I'm trying even harder as the years progress.
Who has made the biggest impact on your swimming career to this point?
Coach Patrick Henry. He was the one that got me focused on swimming and made it fun for me like playing games like guess the song, and if we guessed it we could surf on the kickboards. But, then the coaches I've had after him, have helped me get to where I am now.
Have you verbally committed to any University? If so, which one and why? If not, who is in your top five and why?
No, but my top five are Virginia Tech, Purdue, Princeton, Texas A&M and Texas because they are all very good schools with a very talented swim program. Also, they seem to show interest, which is important because you don't want to go to a school that doesn't want you.
What has the recruiting process been like for you?
A lot of fun and very interesting. I sat back and watched all my friends from previous years go through it and now it's my turn.