Green makes a splash for FHS athletic program
by Mark Ledbetter
Fayetteville High School freshman Katie Green is part of a unique team at school. She is the only member of the FHS swim team.

Five years ago, she began swimming with the Sylacauga Swim Team. She said she always liked to swim so her mom wanted her to try out the swim team. “I went ahead and did it,” Green said Monday morning.

For the past two years Green has competed with the Talladega Swim Team in Talladega at sanctioned high school meets and sanctioned Winter USA swim meets.

Talladega Swim Team coach Lisa Williams said, “Katie is dedicated and willing to do anything I ask her to do. This is important. She is not afraid to try new things.”

Williams, a certified swimming coach, coaches other high school students and puts them through drills designed to improve her swimmers technique and help reduce times.

“Like in all sports, you have to practice to get better,” Williams said. “You must stay in the water and build endurance and speed.”

Williams said she became certified to serve as a swim coach because of her involvement with her children’s interest in competitive swimming, both of which have received swimming scholarships.

Williams said the team competes throughout the southeast but primarily in Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Auburn, and occasionally in Tennessee. The team has a major meet coming up Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Auburn University.

Green makes the 40 minute trip to Talladega daily each week day and every other Saturday for 2-hour training periods. Green said Tuesdays and Thursdays are “dry land” training days which involves out of water drills, such as push ups and other exercises. “They are not always fun but necessary,” she said.

Green said training is usually from 6-8 p.m. so she tries to study and do homework before. But when competition is after school her studying takes place before going to bed.

Having qualified to compete in high school meets, Green said her goal now is to qualify in USA sanction swim meets by reducing her time by two seconds. She trains by working on diving more smoothly and sprints.

Green said she competed last summer, placing first in one competition and is especially proud she came in second when competing against a boy. She said she liked the challenge of competing against male swimmers. “It’s kinda fun,” she said.

Green’s favorite swimmer is Olympian swimmer Missy Franklin she said. Franklin is a 17-year old Olympic American medal winner who won several medals in the 2012 Olympic Games, including gold medals in both the 100 and 200-meter backstrokes.

Green said she admires Franklin for her dedication to all the work involved in training and the ability to withstand the pressure to compete at that level. “I think it’s really cool,” Green said.

Green’s weeks seldom vary – school, swim, study, bed. On weekends she said she enjoys hanging out with her friends and spending time with her boyfriend, and relaxing.

Green is able to find time for another interest, however; she also takes voice lessons from Sylacauga area resident Anna Comer. “Me and my mother talked about being involved in other things so I chose voice because of the arts.”

Although she said she primarily likes to sing in the car, she has participated in voice recitals. She said voice can be more mentally challenging than swimming competition at times but swimming is definitely more challenging physically.

Williams said another thing that is in Green’s favor is the support she receives from her family. Williams also said that Green was receiving great support from Fayetteville High School Athletic Direct John Limbaugh.

“Coach Limbaugh told me he didn’t know much about swimming,” Williams said. “But he is learning.”

Limbaugh said he is proud of Green’s accomplishments, including qualifying for high school state competition.

Green’s competition in swimming is just one of the programs FHS has incorporated into the school’s athletic program Limbaugh said. Limbaugh said the program also includes a cross-country team and a bass-fishing team.

“As the athletic director I wanted to include all of our students by giving them the opportunity to find a way to be supportive by becoming involved,” Limbaugh said. “Swimming is just one of the new athletic programs initiated.” He said both county and local administration have been very supportive of the athletic program.

Daughter of Fayetteville residents Mark and Kim Green, Green has attended Fayetteville since kindergarten.

Green said she definitely hopes to pursue swimming in college and plans attending Auburn University where she said they have an excellent swim team. “They’re amazing,” she said.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com

© 2012