By Sharon Robb

January 1, 2016—Talent, work ethic, goal-oriented and determined.

Those are the words that first come to mind when talking about Kathleen Golding, 15, of South Florida Aquatic Club.

Golding, a gymnast-turned swimmer, enjoyed her finest season in club and impressive debut in high school swimming during 2015.

The highlight of the year was making her first U.S. Olympic trials cut at age 14.

Golding earned her Trials cut in the 200-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 2:18.67 at the USA Swimming Futures Championships and a trip to the June 26-July 3 trials in Omaha, Neb.

There were other impressive accomplishments throughout the year:

She won two events and broke a meet record at the Broward County Athletic Association Swimming Championships. She won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:06.86 and 100-yard butterfly in 56.80, breaking a nine-year-old old meet record.

Golding won the high school State 4A title in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.40 and was third in the 100-yard butterfly in 55.18. The Cooper City High School freshman was one of the youngest to win a state title and the first state swim champion in 19 years at Cooper City.

At the Speedo East Winter Junior National Championships, Golding swam back-to-back best times. She broke 51 seconds for the first time during morning prelims of the 100-yard freestyle in 50.48 and came back at night to lower it again in 50.25. She also swam a best time in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.64, the first time she cracked 1:50.

Golding earned All-County first team honors in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly. She was also a TYR Swimmer of the Month in August.

She won six events at the All-Star Dual Meet at Indian River State College as a member of the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

Golding is just getting started. She hopes to make at least one more Trials cut before the deadline.

“I am excited about the future,” Golding said.

Golding has been training at SOFLO since her family moved to South Florida when she was 13. She has been improving, setting and reaching her goals ever since.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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