Promising Seniors-To-Be 2007: Samantha Woodward

PHOENIX, Arizona, May 8. NEXT up in our promising seniors-to-be series, interviewed Samantha Woodward. Woodward swims for Steve Riggs with Edmond Memorial High School and John Brown with the Chesapeake Swim Club (formerly Kerr-McGee) in Edmond, Okla.

As of the latest May 4 National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) release of All-American candidates, Woodward stands fourth in the 50 free at 22.91 and in the 100 fly at 54.44.

She also boasts top times from this past year of 51.21 (100 free), 1:52.91 (200 free), 56.81 (100 back) and 2:02.67 (200 IM).

Here is our interview with Woodward:

Was there a watershed mark in your career that made it clear you had a gift for the sport and could achieve big things?
Probably the moment that made me really begin to believe I could achieve my dreams was winning high point at Zones when I was 12. It was a big deal for me.

What type of interaction do you have with your coach when it comes to training? What kind of input do you have?
My coach is very progressive with the things he wants me to try. He is on top of what all the fastest swimmers in the world are doing, and tries to implement that into my strokes. He is very interested in hearing all the feedback I have, and using it to piece together a puzzle of how to be the best swimmer I can be. We work like a team.

What are your goals for your senior season?
My first goal for my senior season is to place at Pan Ams this summer and contribute to a great team effort! My next, and possibly biggest goal, is to place at Olympic Trials next summer. I also have to be a good high school team captain!

Who has made the biggest impact on your swimming career to this point?
My family has, of course, made a huge impact on my swimming to this point with their support and dedication to helping me succeed. My coaches, to this point, have helped me more than I can possibly explain. My best friend and training partner Katie Whitbeck has also helped push me all the time.

Have you verbally committed to any University? If so, which one and why? If not, who is in your top five and why?
No, I have no idea where I'm going yet, and although I've heard from a lot of schools through letters, I've decided not to get too serious about it until after the Pan Am Games.

What has the recruiting process been like for you?
So far it's been fun getting letters from the different schools and I'm pumped for the coming summer – I hear it gets pretty intense.