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Katie Jenkins of Bow: Swimming player of the season

  • Bow’s Katie Jenkins won the 100-yard butterfly at the Division-II championships in February. File photo



Monitor staff
Friday, April 20, 2018

Last year, she set school records but missed out on a state title. This year, Bow High senior Katie Jenkins did both.

After finishing third in the 100-yard butterfly in a school-record time of 59.13 seconds in the 2017 Division II Swimming & Diving championships, Jenkins won the 100 fly at the D-II meet this February in a time of 58.7.

Not only did that time give Jenkins the state title she was aiming for all season, it also qualified her for the Eastern Zone Speedo Sectionals last month in Ithaca, N.Y. Jenkins didn’t swim as fast in Ithaca as she did at the D-II meet in Durham, but she still enjoyed making the trip with three other members of the Manchester Swim Team.

“It was a great experience. It was a bonding experience for all of us,” Jenkins said. “It was more of just having fun instead of worrying about our times.”

There’s no doubt Jenkins is a serious and talented swimmer – she plans on competing at the next level, most likely at Gettysburg College – but she’s also embraced the fun, social side of the sport.

“When I was little it was very minimal, I would maybe swim two times a week, but it was fun and I was making friends,” said Jenkins, who started swimming after watching her older brothers, Richard and Robert, compete for Bow. “Then as I got older it got tougher, and then drama through middle school, but it was also something that made me happy. Like if I had a bad day at school, going to the pool was my stress reliever and a home away from home.”

She was also good right away, qualifying for an Eastern Zone meet as an 8-year-old. She hit a plateau around age 12, but her times started to drop again when she hit high school.

Just as important as those dropping times were her fast friendships with fellow Bow swimmers Sonya DeLorie, Amanda Sampo and Dillon Hicks, who Jenkins described as her, “best friends.” Jenkins teamed with the three of them to set a school-record in the 200 medley relay (1:58.83) at the D-II meet. Jenkins, Sampo, DeLorie and Saige Murphy also set a school-record in the 200 free relay (1:45.16).

“Swimming together was something we had talked about since elementary school,” Jenkins said, “so it was a great experience for us throughout high school.”