East freshman Astrid Dirkzwager was one of 24 female swimmers selected to attend USA Swimming’s National Diversity Select Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from May 4-7.
According to a press release from USA Swimming, the camp is designed to “instill a vision of success and inspire athletes from ethnically under-represented populations to become leaders in the sport of swimming.”
Dirkzwager qualified for the camp with her 200-yard backstroke time, according to Alison Pick, Dirkzwager’s coach at the Wichita Swim Club.
“USA swimming only holds a few camps every year, so she’s probably in the top 100 kids in the country,” Pick said. “The skills she will learn from this camp will be something she will keep with her forever. I’m excited to see how she will grow in the pool, but also as a leader.”
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In East’s first four meets this season, Dirkzwager has already posted state cuts in the 200 freestyle (1:57.18), 200 individual medley (2:13.27), 50 freestyle (25.00), 100 butterfly (1:00.01), and 500 freestyle (5:14.81). She is also on East’s state-qualifying relays in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle.
Dirkzwager will compete in East’s triangular against Bishop Carroll and Southeast on Thursday and will also swim at the Trinity Invitational on Saturday.
She will not miss any of East’s meets during the season, as the City League meet is May 12 and the state meet is May 19 and 20.
“This is a huge deal for Astrid and for us because we’ve never had a swimmer at East High who has received this type of national recognition,” East coach Joe Hutchinson said. “We’ve had a lot of talented kids over the years, so this is a great step forward for our program in that we’re getting kids who are not only good locally and in the state, but also good nationally. This is a great experience for Astrid and she’s going to bring back so many stories and this is going to be really motivating for the rest of the girls on our team.”