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CHS freshman makes her mark in CIF swim competition

Katrina Strash could feel the tension slowly increasing during the 2014 CIF Southern Section Swimming and Diving Championships at Riverside Community College. With a cluster of teams and individuals representing 43 high schools, she kept her nerves in check while warming up for the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle.

Only a freshman, her previous performances in CIF Prelims—24.24 in the 50-freestyle and 53.37 in the 100—had her ranked fourth in the 50-freestyle. For Katrina, finishing within the top 10 would be exciting enough.

“I was just hoping to place high,” she said.

She was relieved to find out she placed seventh in both the 50- and 100-freestyle, with times of 24.40 and 53.22 respectively. It’s clear this Chino Hills native continues to be a contender for the Lady Wolfpack.

Katrina’s father, Jon, first motivated her to swim in their backyard pool. When he saw his six-year-old daughter had some athletic potential, he let her join the Chino Valley Dolphin Swim Team, a recreation club that used to be at Ayala High School.

As she pierced through the water practicing the butterfly, she discovered her calling.

“I love it,” Katrina said. “I never felt forced to swim.”

Katrina was with the Dolphins for about four-and-a-half years until her family moved to Claremont. Jon then helped Katrina join The Claremont Club (TCC) swim team.

By age 10, she flourished in the different atmosphere and mentality in Claremont.

“I like it here better (than Chino Valley),” Katrina said. “There’s a lot more competition and the coaching was better.”

For four years, she would end up training for hours whenever she entered TCC pool. She soon met new friends at Claremont High School, especially after seeing familiar faces like sophomore Samantha Duran, also a TCC member.

However, the main obstacle Katrina still faces is not necessarily the various competitors in the Sierra League, but balancing her time to swim at TCC and CHS. Not to mention balancing academics within the mix.

“That is really the hardest part,” Katrina said. “It’s just trying to have good time management.”

Katrina’s typical week would go like this: Arrive at TCC at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday; head to school at 7:55 a.m.; head to swim practice with the Lady Wolfpack from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; swim again at TCC from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; do a final swim on Saturday at 7 a.m. Then repeat again and again.

Within that chaos, she still managed to earn a 4.0 GPA. What keeps her mind at ease is riding her bike and undertaking occasional long walks with her father and dog.

Katrina has achieved  much in her swimming career. At age 9, she also started participating in the Southern California Summer Junior Olympics. Not surprisingly, she medaled in several events to add to her list of accomplishments. She continues to be an active member in the program.

While Katrina ends her CHS freshman year with an MVP award for the 2014 girls varsity swim team, she is still goal setting on what to accomplish in the next three years.

“I just want to keep making it to CIF finals,” Katrina said.


Annie Boos qualifies for next stage in CIF track

Freshman Annie Boos finished fifth in the 800-meter race at the 2014 CIF Track and Field Finals on May 24 at Cerritos Community College.

She ran a personal best and school record time of 2:11.64, according to distance coach Rob Lander. She was also the fifth fastest runner in the 800 meters overall within Division 1, 2, 3 and 4 competitors.

Boos qualified for CIF Masters and running events, which start at 6 p.m. today,  Friday, May 30, at Cerritos College.

—Alex Forbess


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