Krajcik’s choice was clear

Katie Krajcik will follow her father Ernie into the competitive waters and swim collegiately at Southern Connecticut State University. The Bunnell High senior is flanked by Bulldog coach Adam Fielding, her dad, and her mom Susan after signing her letter of intent. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

The carrott was put in place as soon as the race began, and although the path was clear from an early age, Bunnell High’s Katie Krajcik was going to make the trip her very own.
“My dad Ernie was an eight-time All-American at Southern and I grew up watching the team, timing their championships, and I always saw myself swimming there,” Krajcik said about putting pen to paper on Nov. 15 and signing her letter of intent to swim for coach Tim Quill at Southern Connecticut State University.
“I practiced with college kids from a young age and it was instilled in me that if I worked hard good things would happen.
“My mom Susan goes to all my meets. She checks out all the seed times before competitions, she and my grandmother Dee are my No. 1 fans.”
Quill has watched Krajcik’s progression up close.
“Katie swam with SoNoCo (Southern Connecticut Swim Club) as an age group swimmer and her dad is a University record holder until the early 2000s,” said Quill, a 13-time Northeast-10 Conference coach of the year.
“We’re excited that she’s decided to pursue her academic and athletic interests here at SCSU.”
Krajcik took to the water without floaties when she was three, attended YMCA classes, and has competed for two club teams.
This past season, she lowered her program-record times in the 50- and 100-freestyle and lowered her 50-freestyle time at the State Open.
“From when I first saw her in the pool as a camp kid at the YMCA, she learned the butterfly in her first lesson,” Bunnell coach Adam Fielding said. “It has been an honor to watch her and help her become one of the elite swimmers in Connecticut.
“Katie is one of the most fierce competitors I have ever let met. She pushes herself hard every meter of every practice. She is constantly trying to fix any little issue chasing that extra tenth of a second.”
Krajcik considered Division I Marist College and Division III Ithaca College.
“My gut told me Southern,’ said Krajcik, who will major in video production and hopes to fit in a second major with political science.
“I’m passionate about politics and would love to be in front of the camera some day dealing with the issues.”
Krajcik has a role model in SCSU senior Amanda Thomas.
“Amanda is the Division II Swimmer of the Year and has qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 400 yard individual medley,” Krajcik said. “She has the best underwater dolphin kick and I try to mimic it.”
The proverbial whale for Krajcik is the time of 58.19.
“I say it every day,” Krajcik said of the clocking number needed to qualify for the 100 freestyle for the 2013 Junior National Championships in Irvine (Calif.) this summer. “My time is 100.06, and swimming sprints I’m trying to shave one second off each of the two laps.”
Quill said of her pursuit:
“You have to be that way because swimming is a numbers-based sport. Katie has the drive to be the very best athlete she can, and we’re looking forward to her services here at Southern.”
Krajcik is looking forward to the challenge.
“Hopefully, I’m down for the 50, 100 and 200 free, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put me in distance events,” she said.
“It’s interesting because Katie Crochet (out of Watertown High) and I competed at state finals and now we can possibly be roommates.”
Quill, who has coached a total of 98 NCAA All-America selections, including Ben Michaelson, Kristen Frost and Thomas, who have combined to win 15 individual national titles, said:
“Katie’s very accomplished in the freestyles and obviously a big attraction is what she can do in the sprints.
“She might not want to hear this, but we think she can contribute in the two hundred-five hundred range, and I also see with her skills in the butterfly and the breaststroke working in the individual medley as well.
“We look at Katie as a versatile athlete, who can contribute immediately in many events.”

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