Katelyn Sowinski, a Severna Park resident and a senior at Annapolis Area Christian School, signed a letter of intent last week to swim at Penn State next year on a full scholarship.
Patch caught up with Sowinski, 17, to ask her a few questions about her recent signing.
Severna Park Patch: What are you most looking forward to in college?
Katelyn Sowinski: I look forward to being a part of a team in college and in the Big Ten.
Severna Park Patch: How has your high school swimming career (in school or outside of school) prepared you for the Division I experience?
Sowinski: My swimming career has mainly been outside of high school on club teams in Texas and in Maryland. I swim for Eagle Swim Team here in Maryland in Owings Mills under Scott Ward. He is an excellent coach, took me to Olympic trials this past June in Omaha, NE, and knows exactly how to coach me for competitive environments like Division I swimming! I am so excited to keep preparing under him here and then to race for Penn State next year. Coach Ward knows a lot about swimming, has coached an Olympian and I am thankful to have found him here in Maryland.
Severna Park Patch: What made you decided to choose Penn State?
Sowinski: After narrowing a large list down to five official visits, I chose to see Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ohio State, North Carolina and Penn State. It was difficult to make my final decision and it came down to Texas A&M and Penn State. I chose Penn State because I really just loved everything about it after my visit. The town and campus are great and beautiful, it is a great education, I loved all the coaches and felt like they were a good fit for me and I loved the team as well, which was most important to me.
Severna Park Patch: What do you like to do besides swimming?
Sowinski: Aside from school and swimming, I love to hang out with my friends. I am an outdoor person so I like to go to the beach and go boating.
Severna Park Patch: Who would you say has had the most influence on you and your athletic career and why?
Sowinski: I would say my parents had the most influence on my athletic career. They are low-pressure, supportive people who have always encouraged and been there for me. It has been a tough schedule to keep over the last five-plus years, but they are always there for me and are never critical. I think this is why I have grown to love swimming so much—it is tough but it is fun and they helped make it fun for me by always being supportive.
Severna Park Patch: What advice would you give to a younger athlete looking to pursue a college athletic career?
Sowinski: I would tell a younger athlete to make sure he/she is doing the sport of choice for themselves first. If you don't love the sport, you won't stick with it. If you love the sport then you have to stick with it and I would say work harder than you ever have, dream big, follow through, make sacrifices. If you want to play in college, it can happen by doing all of that. I have missed several things that I wanted to do over the years, but the sacrifices to practice or go to a meet have been worth it and I always make up for the things I have missed.