Springfield native Kate Spaulding has had plenty of success since joining the Lindsey Wilson College swim team in 2011, but recently the sophomore had her biggest moment yet as a swimmer, not once, but twice.
Spaulding and the Blue Raiders traveled to Brenau, Ga. last month for a meet, where she posted a time of one minute and 11.28 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke and a time of 2:34.58 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Both times were good enough to qualify Spaulding for the national “A” standard.
Her performance makes her eligible for the NAIA national meet in Oklahoma City in March, and also opens opportunities outside of the NAIA.
“I can also go to senior nationals, which is one step below the olympic trial cut, so that’s basically the next goal, to try and make that,” she said.
The meet was one of Lindsey Wilson’s last of the semester, allowing Spaulding to head into Christmas-break training on a high note, before the team resumes competition on Jan. 18 at Milligan College in Tennessee. She recalled the races that helped her eclipse the “A” standard in very different ways.
“For one of my races it was something that I figured out afterward, but in the individual 200 breaststroke, I just felt it,” she said. “I felt myself doing so well and I just went with it.”
After realizing the time she had posted in the 100-yard breaststroke, Spaulding said she couldn’t contain her emotions.
“After the 100, I did a backflip right into the water, because I had no idea that I posted that time,” she said. “It was crazy how happy everybody was and how crazy everybody was going after the 200.”
With the season winding down, Spaulding isn’t content staying at the level she’s worked so hard since she was six years old to reach, and she’s already looking ahead to her next big achievement.
“One of my goals is to get MVP for the women’s team for the second year in a row and to be an All-American,” she said. “I’m like a second away from being an All-American, so that’s probably my No. 1 goal right now.”
Following next month’s trip to Tennessee, Lindsey Wilson will travel to Asbury University on Jan. 28, before hosting the Mid-South Conference Invitiational on Feb. 8 prior to their trip to Oklahoma City.