SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kaitlin Armstrong
High School: Archbishop McCarthy
College: Lynn University
For nine years, Kaitlin Armstrong has worked hard in the pool and in the classroom and it’s paid off.
Armstrong is the first swimmer from South Florida Aquatic Club to sign with the women’s program at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
The school added women’s swimming to its NCAA Division II athletic program in February, 2012. The program made its debut in October 13, 2012 in a Sunshine State Conference tri-meet against St. Leo and Florida Tech.
Lynn’s head coach is Niki Alvarez was a men’s and women’s assistant swim coach for eight years at Florida Atlantic. The team trains on-campus at the newly-renovated West Pool at McCusker Sports Complex.
“I just really liked the coach and the campus,” Armstrong said. “All the girls were nice. I liked the fact that it was a smaller team and there were three coaches and the swimmers get a lot of attention.”
Armstrong first visited the campus after the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships. She visited other schools in the north before making her decision.
“I wanted to stay close to home,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself 5,000 miles away.
Armstrong expects to swim the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events and relays and is “looking to make an impact” her freshman year.
Armstrong met with Alvarez during a Lynn home swim meet.
“I talked to Coach Niki and told her that I wanted to commit to Lynn if she still had a spot open and she said, of course,” Armstrong said. “I was really happy. My mom got a little emotional.”
Armstrong swam all four years during her high school career for the Mavericks and worked with SOFLO coach Megan Garland, head coach at Archbishop McCarthy.
Swimming was a challenge at first when she was little.
“When I was younger I actually never wanted to put my face in the water,” Armstrong said. “When I got older I saw a flyer for the Comets. The pool was only three minutes from my house. I wanted to try out. I loved it. I liked all the coaches and the facility was really nice. I just stuck with it.”
One of her shining moments in the pool was qualifying for the state meet in the 50-yard freestyle as a senior. She still has plenty of goals including dropping more time and qualifying for nationals.
“I worked really hard for a long time,” she said. “I really enjoy it.”
Armstrong is one of seven seniors who will be honored during SOFLO’s annual banquet at the Signature Grand in Davie on Saturday. Other seniors are Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Astrid Rigau, Bowie Suen, Olivia Katcher and Kry Nichlany.
By Sharon Robb, firstname.lastname@example.org