Mulling over the Alcatraz event, “I did a (2-mile) open water swim last summer” at an Ohio state park with some fellow Marlins. Because the water was murky, “you ran into something and you didn’t know what it was.” Some of the bumps turned out to be tree branches.
Her training is rigorous. During an August break from the Marlins, “I swim every other morning at 5:30 at the (Batesville) Memorial Pool.”
In September, she will attend school, arrive home for an hour, then her Mom or Dad will drive Storms and her two sisters (Eva, 8, and Allison, 11) to Cincinnati for Marlins practices four or five days a week, getting home around 10 p.m. Caroline is in the pool for two hours, then completes one hour of running, push-ups, sit-ups and other weight room exercises.
Once or twice a month Marlins meets are slated for weekends. “I swim anything my coaches put me in ... My least favorite event is probably the 200 (butter)fly. I really enjoy the 200 backstroke. I’m a decent sprinter,” but she finds swimming long distances boring.
The athlete has friends in this area and Cincinnati. “It makes it nice.” She enjoys participating in OA Student Council and going on sleepovers and shopping in the city.
Storms doubts she will continue swimming on a college team. “I thought about it,” but she knows pre-med courses are tough. “I don’t think I’ll be able to balance swimming and studying. I’ll probably do it on the side to keep in shape.”
Swimming competitively has allowed Storms to “meet a lot of great people ... It’s made me who I am.”
The St. Louis School graduate reflects, “It’s taught me some great life lessons along the way, besides just how to swim. To be determined – not give up on anything. It’s taught me dedication. You’ve got to put in work to get results. Be confident in what you can and can’t do.”
Before the student departs for this latest adventure, she intends to talk to Manriquez, who did similar Alcatraz swims in 2008 and 2011, to glean advice. Caroline Storms predicts, “I’ll approach it with the attitude (that) I’m not going to worry about anything. I just have to go out and swim it and do the best I can.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.