Kim Williams hopes the lessons learned during a dynamic, and successful, summer translate into the fall.
The Bellevue High senior spent her months out of school competing for Team U.S.A., swimming at the junior nationals and the junior Pan Pacific Championships. Williams wants to bring many of the lessons those two weeks taught her back to the Wolverines.
“Being part of Team USA is probably the most incredible experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Williams said. “I just learned a lot from those trips. It’s not about you. They teach you what it’s like to represent your country, not yourself. They want you to have fun, and represent well.”
In such an individual sport, Williams sees great parallels between the idea of representing the U.S. and in high school swimming.
“High school is so different from club swimming,” Williams said. “It’s so team-oriented.”
Take her situation.
Williams has won 5 of 6 possible individual event state titles. She will try to win her sixth and seventh when the state meet takes place at King County Aquatics Center on Nov. 14 and 15.
One event Williams is sure to race in is the 200 Individual Medley, as she tries to become a four-time 3A winner in that race. Along with the 400 IM, it’s a race Williams won at Junior Nationals this summer.
But as a senior and one of five Bellevue captains, Williams’ focus is on her team. She would love for an improved Wolverines squad to make a serious run at defending champ Mercer Island and other powers for the state team title.
“Our team has come a long way,” Williams said. “It’s just in how we’ve structured this season. We’re focused on team spirit and drive. I’ve always though maybe Bellevue High was a little too loosy goosy about this.”
The captains came up with a mission statement to guide their efforts.
“We have five (goals),” Williams said. “Each captain is held responsible for one of them.”
Call them the “5 Be’s to Being Bellevue” swimming. Be Bold. Be Supportive. Be Pumped. Be Loud. Be Motivated. And finally, that allows the team to Be Bellevue.
Williams is responsible for “Be Supportive.” And she is bringing something else from Team USA to guide her efforts with teammates.
“Every heat we had USA swimmers in (at the Pan Pacifics), we were all up on our feet cheering,” Williams said. “We weren’t screwing around. We weren’t looking for something when someone was racing.”
Now she’s hoping to translate the knowledge she’s gained to her team, for her school, to benefit her teammates.
Know a swimmer who has committed to a college?Email Doug Drowley at email@example.com.