Keller grad preps for water at higher level

07/07/2014 12:14 PM

07/07/2014 12:15 PM

Keller swimmer Laura Norman grabbed two state championships in back-to-back seasons, but is still working out this summer to keep her head above water.

Norman, who picked up UIL gold medals in the 200m IM and 100m Back events in both 2013 and 2014, continues her diligent work as she prepares for her freshman season at Texas A&M this fall.

College swimming workouts are much longer in time and distance, Norman said, but the early hours are part of her well-established routine from high school.

“Getting up at 5:30 is hard, but when you see a best time posted on the board, it’s worth it,” Norman said.

“The workouts are longer in the early morning,” Norman said, “and I’m preparing for that this summer. It’s going to be nice to have a huge pool and plenty of room for just us, and we’ll have the priority,” she said of the collegiate swimming environment. Norman also mentioned her Aggie workouts will be just with other female swimmers, which is a change from her high school and club team workouts.

Swimming is Norman’s summer job. “I don’t have much time for anything else,” she said.

Norman swims twice a week for the North Texas Nadadores swim club team and swims on her own to keep her distance and cardio up to standards for the college program.

The freshman swimmers are on their own until October, when the NCAA states a college coach can have contact and instruction for their swimmers. Until then, Norman will push herself and, when the fall semester starts, will participate in “Captain’s Practices” in which A&M team captains will lead the practices.

With the college pool being longer and the events being longer distances, Norman knows her transition will likely include having to be able to swim her backstroke further and adding in freestyle, also. Converting her personal bests to how she’ll rank with her Aggie teammates’ efforts is somewhat difficult because of the varied event distances.

“I’ve measured my times against the A&M swimmers with the team records posted and the girls’ best times,” Norman said. “It’s kind of hard to put a direct spot on it, but my times would make the conference,” she said. The conference meets include a team’s 24-25 women, which makes the competition more team-oriented. The NCAA meet will qualify individuals, Norman explained.

Swimming in A&M maroon is also going to take a bit of getting used to for Norman, as she said her initial desire was be a part of the Texas orange, as she has grown up in the state and gravitated toward everything Longhorn.

“I took one of my five recruiting trips to A&M and really loved it,” Norman said. “It’s a good fit for me there. I actually narrowed down my choices to Yale and A&M. It was academics vs. swimming, but I chose A&M,” she said in being able to stay in-state.

Norman plans on pursuing an accounting degree in the business school, but cannot declare a major until her academic junior year.

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