Swimming: Getting to know Alamo Heights’ Elizabeth Walsh
The fall portion of the high school swimming season is winding down, but Alamo Heights’ Elizabeth Walsh appears to just be getting started.
The freshman concluded the first “big” meet of her prep career by earning gold medals and establishing meet and facility records in the 200-yard individual medley (2:09.44) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.33) at the Hornet Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (TISCA) Invitational on Nov. 16-17 in Corpus Christi.
Walsh talks about her solid start, goals for the rest of the season and dealing with newfound expectations:
E-N: What was your mindset going into the meet in Corpus Christi? Did you treat as the next meet on the schedule? Or did you know it was a big meet and a chance for you to see where you were compared to other swimmers around the region?
“I knew my lineup and where I was ranked going into the meet, and so I thought if I could just get out there, go fast the first day (during prelims), get my first seeding for the next day, then I could have the confidence to prove myself very early in the season.”
E-N: Athletes sometimes talk about sensing they are poised for a big performance during warmups or preliminaries. Did you have the same intuition?
“The atmosphere, especially at high school meets upon the team and all of the swimmers, is phenomenal. When I was warming up, I felt really loose, very strong. I knew it was going to be a good day.”
E-N: You win your first event, set the meet and facility records. You turn around and do the same thing in your second event. What was your reaction like?
“I was very excited after my first event, but I knew I just had to keep focus on my second. I couldn’t let it get to my head at all. I just stayed focused for the second event and I knew I could do great things.”
E-N: Now that you’ve made a splash, the expectations will surely rise. Have you thought about dealing with swimming under a spotlight?
“I really do feel pressure, especially since I’m a freshman. I feel like I have to prove myself. I’ve had many conversations with coach (Don) Walker and my club coach, Rachel Woodard, and they both said, ‘You’re a freshman, keep your head in the game, keep your head strong, and you can continue to prove yourself.’”
E-N: Alamo Heights has a long history of good female swimmers. You probably want to add your name to that list. Were you expecting to do so this soon?
“I am really excited for my next four years of high school swimming and I think I can continue to get closer to some of the school records and maybe even set a few, this season and maybe in upcoming seasons.”
E-N: What’s your expectation for rest of the season?
“I’m always looking to the next meet. I have a plan for district, and I have a plan for regional. I’m hoping to finish top-two in regional so I can make it to state individually.”
E-N: How did you get into swimming?
“I’ve always had an attractive to water ever since I was very young. I used to live in New York City, but as soon as I moved here and there was more space and there were more club teams I knew I wanted to get on a team fast.”