(Photo: Sun Devil Athletics)
At an Italian International meet in Rome this past weekend, Kat Simonovic, who swims internationally for Serbia, swam under the Olympic A cut for the 200-meter freestyle. In European swimming, when a swimmer gets a time under that standard, they qualify for the Olympics. Simonovic made the cut by .09 seconds and will be traveling to Rio to swim for Serbia in the Olympic games.
“It’s all a kid could ever dream of,” Simonovic said. “In reality, this was a long standing goal of mine for four years. Seems crazy to believe but it’s much more of a check mark than it is this big magic fantasy. This has been the ultimate goal since my swimming career has started and each hour of training put in has been work towards that goal. It’s an incredible feeling being able to say I’ve reached that mark and can keep pushing from here.”
Simonovic had a challenging season for Arizona State. The lack of depth on the girl’s team caused her to swim multiple challenging events back to back. With the difficult season behind her, Simonovic kept her Olympic dream alive.
“I’ve never been more sure of something in my career,” Simonovic said. “I was behind the block and I was nervous but in a different way than ever before. Not the type of nervous where you feel sick or shaky. I felt electric and in control. I knew exactly how it was going to go from first lap to last. The last 20meters I knew it would be really boarder line. I kept my head down and just stopped breathing and told myself if you give it everything you have right now, there is a chance that this moment could change your life forever. I hit the wall and didn’t even look at the scoreboard, just found Dan (Kesler) in the stands. When I saw him jumping like a little bean I knew we’d done something special.”
Simonovic will head back to Arizona to figure out the next part of training for the Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on August 5. Simonovic joins her teammate Richard Bohus and head coach Bob Bowman as the Sun Devil athletes and coaches who will also be traveling to the Olympics for swimming.
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