young woman

Winning Strokes

Erin Rease  |  Freshman  |  Elkhorn High School

Erin Rease is not a morning person. That’s the case with most high school freshmen. However, when you swim for Elkhorn High, sleeping in just isn’t an option. It’s a commitment that requires rising early. The shining is optional.

Since the swim season began in mid-November, Erin has been waking up before the sun five days a week to take part in weight training. She has time to shower at school before first period begins. After school, she swims at practice for two hours. “You get used to it,” she said. “I roll out of bed, get some clothes on, and get in the car. I don’t really think about it.”

Nor does Liz Rease, a mother of five — including Erin, her oldest — who ferries her children to activities like baseball, basketball, flag football, youth triathlons and spends a good part of her summers being spectator. “She gets up every day without complaining,” Liz said. “She doesn’t talk in the morning, but she doesn’t complain. I like how she’s handled all of this. She’s a freshman so you never know how it’s going to go, getting into the routine of high school. I’m really proud of how she’s held it all together.”

The hard work seems to be paying off. Erin is within a second of securing an automatic berth in the state Class B meet in late February in the 50-meter freestyle. “Those are sprints, so it’s harder to shave off time,” she said. “It’s easier in longer distances, but I feel like I have been swimming well. You can feel it when you’re swimming well. You don’t feel like you’re dying.”

Erin has been swimming for five years and enjoys the camaraderie of being a part of a team. Elkhorn and Elkhorn South have a combined team — The Stormin’ Antlers — in girls swimming. The team has 36 swimmers.

When she’s not swimming, Erin enjoys drawing and photography, an art medium she says she might want to pursue someday in college. And though she says she’d much rather be behind the camera than in front of it, right now she has the focus to be a success.

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