Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Norwin Girl Primed for Wpial

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Norwin Girl Primed for Wpial

Article excerpt

Norwin senior Kathryn Painter is the reigning WPIAL Class AAA champion in two events, but with this year's swimming finals at Pitt's Trees Pool rapidly approaching, she doesn't want to think about being a favorite to repeat.

"I think it's exciting and last year I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I feel a lot more pressure this year," Painter said. "I'm actually more confident this year at this point in time than I was last year, so the pressure is just pressure I put on myself, not pressure that others have put on me."

It's certainly a much different scenario.

After finishing fourth in the WPIAL and fifth in the state in the 200-yard individual medley and eighth in the WPIAL in the 100-yard breaststroke as a freshman, Painter decided to take a year off from competing at the varsity level and instead concentrated on swimming with the Norwin Aqua Club.

"I think that it was really good for me because I got back into other events that I don't swim in high school and I think it made me a lot more nervous when I planned to swim at WPIALs last year," Painter said. "But as soon as I got in the water I was fine and I think, overall, it was a good decision because I got to focus on my technique rather than on swim meets."

Improving on technique is critical when competing in the individual medley as the swimmer must perform all four legs -- backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle -- with similar mastery to stay at a high level. The year off working on the little things showed in her times as she dropped from the 2:06.96 she swam at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium in the state finals as a freshman to a WPIAL title-winning 2:02.69 and a 2:01.78 second- place finish at the 2014 state meet.

She also finished first in the WPIAL in the 500 freestyle in 4:56.48 and dropped more than two seconds off her time in the state championship heat, but her 4:54. …

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