This is the next installment in a continuing series of articles over the next year where we follow the progress of our local Olympic hopefuls.
Kaitlyn Johnson had already qualified in two events for this summer’s U.S. Olympic Swim Team Trials and now the Uniontown graduate will participate in three after securing a berth in the 100-meter freestyle.
The Olympic trials will be held in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 26 through July 3.
Johnson finished the finals of the 100-meter freestyle in 56.45 seconds, just under the cut time of 56.49, Sunday on the last day of the Speedo Sectionals Central Zone meet hosted by the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
“I just made it,” said Johnson. “I finished the preliminary in 56.8 (seconds). That was my fastest prelim ever.”
Johnson entered the 100 freestyle on the heels of swimming in the 50-meter freestyle on the first day of competition and the 100 butterfly on the second day.
Her times in the 50 freestyle both met the trials time, 26.19 seconds (right on the trials time) in the prelims and 25.97 in the finals.
Johnson’s time in the 100 butterfly prelims was 1:03.40 and 1:01.36 in the finals, just off the trials cut 1:01.19.
Johnson felt all those top-flight swims helped in her 100 freestyle.
“It helps to get best times. I had momentum going into the final event,” explained Johnson.
Johnson considered attempting for a fourth event, but has decided against doing so.
“I am a second off the 200-meter butterfly cut, but the training I do now is not suited for it,” said Johnson. “Now that I have the 100 free cut out of the way, I’m not tapering for meets. I’ll swim in meets, but I’ll train through.”
Johnson was also happy to qualify in that particular pool.
“It was nice to qualify in the 100 free (in the SPIRE Institute pool). That’s where I started training again (for a berth into the Olympic trials). To do it in the place I started was just great,” said Johnson.