Halle Morris: My First Olympic Trials

Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

By Cassidy Lavigne, Swimming World College Intern

Halle Morris, 17, has qualified to swim the 100 and 200 breaststroke at next month’s Olympic Trials. Morris is just finishing her junior year at Terra Linda High School and final preparations for her first Olympic Trials. A dedicated swimmer at North Bay Aquatics in Marin County, California, Morris recently won first place in her short course 100 breaststroke at the North Coast Section Meet and again at the California CIF State Championship meet. I sat down with Morris and asked about her thoughts going into her first Olympic Trials.

CL: What are your first thoughts on qualifying?

HM: This is my first time qualifying so I’m super pumped. I qualified in my 100 breast the summer after my freshman year and then this last March I qualified for my 200 breast. So it’s been a long wait of excitement. When I first qualified I didn’t know I got the cut because they hadn’t released the time standards yet. So when I got it I was like, “Oh hey that’s a best time!” and then I found out it was the Olympic trials cut, so it’s exciting!

What do you hope to accomplish?

There’s not really much pressure on me, I’m just gonna go out there and have some fun and try my best. My goal is to make semi-finals in at least one of my races, I think that’d be awesome, and of course to get best times. I want to present myself to colleges and hopefully be recruited.

What does qualifying mean to you?


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

It means a lot. It just shows all the hard work pays off. It’s crazy. I haven’t really fully grasped it yet. I think once I show up there and I see the Olympic rings and the Olympians I’ll be astonished. It’s just awesome and great to have all of this acknowledgement and to be able to say “I qualified for the Olympic Trials.” People really pay attention to that. It’s a big deal and it keeps me more motivated. Now that I’m an Olympic Trials qualifier I just want to work harder at practice.

What are you looking forward to seeing?

I’m going with my teammate from my club team, Miki Dahkle, and my coaches Don Swartz and Ken DeMont; it will be fun going together. I’m excited to see the whole environment and have that great experience too, seeing everyone, the ready room, and of course the Olympians. We’re both young swimmers so it will be great for us to experience that and to have that under our belt for future meets.

In 4 years, where do you see your swimming career?

I’ll be almost a senior in college by then. I hope to be at a very studious Division I university. I want to be a DI swimmer at a university where I can balance my academics, athletics, and social life too. I want to be at a well-rounded university that will provide for my future career.

With less than a month to go before the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Morris is now streamlining her focus into her stroke, particularly on the transition from short course yards to long course meters. When describing Morris, Coach DeMont stated, “She’s focused and driven. When she has a goal in mind and knows how to really go out for it. She’s a really good competitor and rises to the occasion for a challenge and is willing to do so.”