Katey Rowden’s trip to Austin can’t get here fast enough.
”If I could have my bags packed, I would,” Rowden said.
The Decatur freshman will become the school’s first swimmer to compete at the University Interscholastic League’s championships Friday and Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center at the University of Texas.
Rowden will swim in the 50-yard and 100 freestyle races.
“It’ll be a great experience,” Rowden said. “I can’t wait to swim. I feel so blessed for the opportunity to represent my school and community.”
The state championships will wrap up a stellar freshman campaign for Rowden. She won three gold medals at the District 6-4A meet in January and earned the event’s top-female swimmer honor.
Rowden followed that performance with her victories in the 50 and 100 at the Class 4A Region II meet Feb. 11. She swam 24.48 in the 50 and 55.63 in the 100.
Her regional times put her behind the top medal contenders in both events. She’s a full second behind Magnolia West’s Erin Giles in the 50 and four seconds back of Magnolia’s MacKenzie Childs in the 100.
Rowden said the faster competition should bring out the best in her.
“It always helps to have a lot of competition,” she said. “I think it’d be awesome to be at 24 in the 50 and 54 in the 100.
“My main goal is to do my best. It’d be awesome to get in the top eight.”
This will not be Rowden’s first time to compete at the facility on the Texas campus. Two years ago, she swam in the Texas Age Group Swimming Championships. She hopes that experience helps this weekend.
“I’ve been there and swam there,” Rowden said. “I should not be freaking out or anything.”