When Katie Olsen started swimming at age 6, the one event she could not do was the breaststroke.
"I couldn't figure out how to do the kick," Olsen said. "I would always get so frustrated by it. And my coach would get mad."
It's safe to say she's straightened that out.
The Phoenix Desert Vista junior set a state record in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:00.68 and added another state title in the 50-meter freestyle, garnering the Tribune's Girls Swimmer of the Year Award.
With the banning of high-tech swimsuits before the season, few state records fell, but Olsen came in comfortably under the mark of 1:01.57 set by Tucson Sahuaro's Caitlin Leverenz in 2006.
Olsen was happy with the state record, but she wasn't completely content with her time.
"I was kind of like, 'Aww, I didn't get it,'" said Olsen of her reaction. "I pictured seeing 59 seconds."
Her 50-meter freestyle title was also impressive. She was planning on swimming the 200-meter individual medley at state but switched to the 50-meter freestyle with only a month before the meet.
"My 200 IM had not been so red hot, so I figured maybe I'll go for the 50 this time," Olsen said.
She finished in 23.45 seconds, .14 seconds ahead of Gilbert's Kelli Benjamin, to secure the crown.
Olsen has one more year of high school swimming yet, and breaking into double digits in the breaststroke will be the main goal next season.
As long as her kick remains steady, she'll have a good chance.
"I really want to go under a minute," she said.
All-Tribune first team
Name, School Year Event Comment
Kelli Benjamin, Gilbert, Jr. 50 free Second place in 50 and 100 free
Haley Krakoski, Xavier, Sr. 100 free Capped stellar career with state title
Kat Simonovic, Mountain View, Fr. 200 free Surprising win over Krakoski in 5A-I
Ashley Evans, Pinnacle, Sr. 500 free Dominant swim on way to 5A-II title
Malia Johnson, Chaparral, Sr. 100 fly Surprise 5A-II champ
Talie Anchustegui, Xavier, So. 100 back Cruised to state title in 5A-I
Katie Olsen, Desert Vista, Jr. 100 breast Set state record (1:00.68) when few did
Sara Jurek, Chandler, Jr. 200 IM Easily won 5A-I title
Megan Harper, Xavier, Sr. Diving Scored 413.90 points to take 5A-I crown
Coach of the Year: Erica McClurg, Arcadia. Solid depth led to an easy crown in 4A-II
Swimmer of the Year: Katie Olsen, Desert Vista
All-Tribune second team
Name, School Year Event Comment
Quinn Robertson, Valley Christian, Sr. 50 free Won state in 2A by more than a second
Lindsey LaPorte, Pinnacle, Sr. 100 free State title in 5A-II
Ally Loper, Desert Mountain, Jr. 200 free Second-place finish in 5A-II race
Emily Christiansen, Mountain View, Sr. 500 free 5A-I title, 3rd in 200 free
Carter Graves, Arcadia, Sr. 100 fly 5A-II state title
Ashley Brewer, Chaparral, Sr. 100 back State title in 5A-II
Breeia Larson, Mountain View, Sr. 100 breast Finished second to Olsen in 5A-I
Alex Daswick, Notre Dame, So. 200 IM 4A-II title in the event
Briyelle Nasby, Basha, So. Diving Second place in 5A-I with 335.6 points
Arcadia: Melanie Gustafson, Sr., 200 freestyle; 500 freestyle. Carly Stevens, So., 200 IM, 500 freestyle. Cactus Shadows: Belen Enguinados, Jr., 100 butterfly. Campo Verde: Marlee Kersting, So., diving. Chaparral: Leticia Lelli, So., 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle; Megan Cox, So., 200 IM. Desert Mountain: Lauren Sneed, Sr., 100 breaststroke. Desert Vista: Lauren Torres, Jr., 100 butterfly/100 freestyle; Tinsley Andrews, Sr., 200 IM; Taylor Newgaard, Sr., 500 freestyle. Hamilton: Thalia Harrison, Jr., 100 backstroke. Mesa: Ciara Jenkins, Jr., 100 breaststroke. Mountain View: Aubree Allen, So., 100 backstroke. Perry: Morgan Palmanteer, Jr., 50 freestyle. Red Mountain: Samantha Guttmacher, Fr., 50 freestyle. Valley Christian: Briana Jurries, Fr., 200 IM, 100 breaststroke. Brooke Ferguson, Jr., diving; Mikala Nelson, So., 100 butterfly; 100 backstroke. Xavier: Madeline Wells, Fr., 200 IM; Niki Vetter, Jr., diving.
School sweeps: Phoenix Arcadia took home both the boys and girls 4A-II swim titles, and Scottsdale Chaparral took home the 5A-II crowns on both sides. Phoenix Brophy and Phoenix Xavier, though not technically the same school but closely related, also won team titles in 5A-I.
Kat-quick: Kat Simonovic had one of the more surprising victories of the state championships, edging Xavier's Haley Krakoski in the 200-meter freestyle. Krakoski is one of the state's top swimmers and is headed to Auburn next season. Simonovic is just a freshman and has a bright future, as well.