KASEY THOMPSON
St. James Catholic School
(May 2007)

At the tender age of only nine years old, Lively native Kasey Thompson recently became one of the youngest swimmers in Ontario to qualify for the provincial championships. As the youngest provincial qualifier on the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club this year and competing in the nine and ten age category for the 400 metre freestyle, she swam her way to a respectable 14th place finish. Even more impressive than that though is the fact that she ended up in first place out of all the nine-year-olds in the province. Being able to qualify and compete against the best young swimmers in the province was the completion of a goal that the youngster set out for herself at the beginning of the year.

“I was very happy,” says Thompson with a great big smile on her face. “That made me want to train more.”

In fact, she’s training five times a week now in the hopes of qualifying for the long course at the junior provincials in July. No matter what happens though, the Grade 4 student at St. James Catholic School has definitely come a long way after being introduced to the sport three years ago by a friend. She started out as a recreational swimmer taking swimming lessons at the club, but she progressed so quickly that her instructors wouldn’t let her move up due to her young age. So, she decided to join the competitive program and hasn’t looked back since.

“It’s really fun,” she says. “I get to see all my friends and I get to miss school,” she jokes.

Although she also enjoys cross-country skiing, swimming remains her passion. “Swimming is my favourite,” she says. “My favourite stroke is freestyle because it’s not tiring.”

She plans on swimming for a long time to come and her level two coach, Sarah Mailloux, believes the sky’s the limit for Thompson.

“I think can achieve anything that she wants to with her dedication and her sheer will to want to win,” Mailloux says. “I think she can go as far as she wants to as long as she keeps the training aspect and her positive attitude.”

She believes her positive thinking is her greatest strength, but also indicates that she’s gifted with natural talent and an unrelenting determination to improve and persevere.

“She always wants more out of practice, she never complains, and she’s always eager to push herself past her limit. I think that helps her a lot because she’s willing to go the extra distance,” Mailloux says. “She’s a real young swimmer so there’s always room for improvement in technique, but she’s progressed very quickly both in technique and performance-wise.”

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