Kreuzberger Punches Last-Minute Ticket to Olympic Trials

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photography

By Cassidy Lavigne, Swimming World College Intern

Kimmie Kreuzberger, a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara achieved her Olympic Trials cut for the 50 freestyle in Portland, Oregon during the last weekend open for qualification. She swam all four years at the Division I level under Gaucho head coach Gregg Wilson. She will be traveling to Omaha with her teammates to compete and celebrate one last hurrah with their coach.

Kreuzberger has been swimming for majority of her life. While this is her first Trials meet, she made it clear that it will certainly not be her last race and the end of her swimming career.

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photography

Swimming World: What does qualifying mean to you?

KK: It’s every swimmers goal to try to get to Trials. I’ve been swimming and competing since I was 5 years old and this goal to get the trials cut just became very real for me last August. I dropped over a second in the 50 free within the past year in long course season which has been incredible. So after that big drop of time in August I thought, “Wow this could be a real opportunity for me.”

So at the beginning of the year I made Trials my goal, knowing it was going to take a lot of extra work on top of collegiate athletics and competing short course year-round. To end my career with the Gauchos and to represent them at this stature of a meet is very cool. Everything that I’ve been working for so long is going to pay off at the fastest meet you could possibly go to.

Will Trials be the final stop in your swimming career?

Over the past year and my journey to qualify, the more I’ve been to these long course competitions and the more I’ve been fine-tuning my racing and going to higher-caliber meets, I realistically don’t see myself ever stopping. I’ve been swimming for so long. It’s what I love. It’s what I’m comfortable doing. I have this drive in me that feels like I haven’t reached my full potential. I truly believe I have more to give to the sport. Whether that’s in my personal success or being a part of another amazing team like what I’ve already experienced throughout my collegiate and my club years.

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Photo Courtesy: Sandy Calwell

What do you hope to accomplish at Trials?

I’m very proud of myself for achieving my goal to make it. That took a lot for me. I went to meets during finals, in the middle of the season, and the middle of the school quarter. I was flying all around the country and just to be able to make it is a huge accomplishment for me.

But I’m so competitive and I want to do well there too. I don’t want to show up and flop. I want to give it my all and give it everything that I’ve got because I’ve worked so hard to get to that meet. I want to prove that I’m good enough to go another best time and break that 26.0, and that I’ve put in the work to do this. I’m looking forward to going with my team, having fun, and having a great time cheering them on.

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Photo Courtesy: Andre Nguyen

Where do you see yourself in four years?

I would love to be able to stay at the rate that I’m at. I have other goals and aspirations. I want to start my career and build that other part of my life. But I also want to be able to maintain what I’ve spent developing these past 16 years of my life. I’d love to be up in the Bay Area. I’ve already been researching different masters programs around the area. It’s just such a great sport and such an influential community to be a part of. I’ve made some of my best friends from this sport, even my current team. I just couldn’t imagine leaving all of that behind to start a new life.

How has swimming impacted your life?

Swimming is a unique sport. It takes a certain kind of person to wake up at the crack of dawn and hop into a cold pool and pound 5,000 or more yards. It’s also a very rewarding sport. It’s helped me really fine-tune certain skills that are really going to benefit me outside of the pool and in the real world. Hard work, perseverance, and the ability to fail. To consistently try and to not meet that goal. To be able to handle failing. To pick yourself back up and keep going is a huge accomplishment and skill that swimmers especially learn in the sport because it’s so difficult, rigorous, and demanding.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Glenn Normandin

    Good Luck Kimmie!

Author: Cassidy Lavigne

avatar
Cassidy Lavigne is a rising senior at Soka University of America. She swims sprint-mid-distance freestyle and butterfly for the Lions in the NAIA. She grew up in Marin County, CA.

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