Kennidy Quist to represent Aspen Swim Club at Junior Nationals in New York
This weekend at the USA Swimming Futures Championships in Texas, Aspen Swim Club athlete Kennidy Quist is trying to take it easy with an even bigger meet right around the corner.
At least, that’s her plan. Speedos’ coach Gordon Gerson doubts that’ll happen.
“I wouldn’t say take it easy — Kennidy doesn’t have ‘take it easy’ in her,” Gerson said. “She wants to do her best all the time, which is probably why she’s as good as she is.”
Quist is using Futures as a tune up for next week’s Junior National Championships, held Tuesday to Aug. 12 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, New York. Juniors is the highest-level meet for 18-and-under (at time of qualification) swimmers in the country, while Futures is considered to be a level below that.
Moving beyond junior nationals, swimmers can strive for Nationals, Worlds and of course, the Olympics.
According to Gerson, only Emma Cain — who is committed to swim for UCLA this season — has ever represented the Speedos at summer junior nationals. She did this in 2014, although Cain is a native of Great Britain and only swam for the Aspen club on a part-time basis. Quist is a 2017 Aspen High School graduate and has been a full-time participant for the Speedos since moving to the valley prior to her freshman year.
“This past year I’ve been looking forward to going to this meet,” Quist said. “It’s such a privilege and really shows all the hard work that we put in here at practice that I’m able to go to this meet with everyone in the country. Regardless of how the outcome is, I believe it will be a great learning experience, and Futures leading up to it will only help to prepare me for the even bigger meet that is to come.”
Quist qualified for Juniors while competing at Futures a year ago. She plans to compete in three events there — the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles — while possibly time trialing a few others.
At Futures, she is primarily helping out the Speedos’ relay teams. Among the relay team participants is L.J. Fetzko, a Glenwood Springs High School student and University of Hawaii signee, who Gerson was hoping could swim fast enough to also qualify for Juniors next week.
“That meet is truly a practice meet. I will swim relays and probably two individual events, and that will purely be practice,” Quist said of Futures. “It’s a team oriented meet in a sense that it’s all relays. And I’m excited for that. I’ve never really gone to a meet where it’s all relays.”
Quist will fly straight from Texas to New York after the weekend. After Juniors, she then heads to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she will swim for Harvard University.
“I’m very excited. I think it will be a nice change with school and swimming,” Quist said. “I really like all of the women on the team. That is why I chose that school outside of academics.”
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Brooke O’Sullivan carries herself like an experienced golfer. Her smooth swing and resilience on course matches that of players far her senior, and her leadership off the course is of someone who’s seen and done a lot with the sport. In reality, she’s merely a freshman on the AHS girls golf team.