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Westside’s Harris ranks among state’s top freestyle swimmers

January 26, 2023

The Westside girls swimming team has achieved a lot of success this season. The team is led by many great swimmers including Natalie Harris. The Westside junior is ranked in the top ten in 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events.

Harris has had many first place finishes this season. She has won events in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Harris also took top spot in the 400 freestyle relay team at the Lincoln Southeast Knight Invite. Harris also recorded runner-up finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyle events at the Burke Invite. 

“I set goals pretty high and just stay focused on them,” Harris said. “I keep working towards them and having friends really help with that.”

Harris is a big goal setter and really focuses on her objectives. Her best event is the 500 freestyle, where she is ranked fourth in the state with a time of 5:12.89. She set the mark at the Knight Invite on Dec. 17. Looking back and having improvement from the year before is something that Harris does to gauge her improvement. 

“We tried to improve on last year. We had a really good season last year and we want to continue to have a good season,” We continue working hard on trying to improve and hopefully win as many times.”

The Westside 400 freestyle relay team ranks second in the state with a time 3:36.29. The relay team of Piper Hagen, Elaina Kratky, Kate Stevens and Harris recorded the time at the Burke Invite on Dec. 3. The team around Harris is a big part of her success. 

“Once we get further along in the season it gets really hard and we get really tired,” said Harris. “So having a team that you can bond with and have fun with is really nice.” 

This message is reciprocated all throughout the team, not just from Harris. Success stems from being one big team and pushing to be better. Harris’s teammate Kate Stevens has helped her become a better swimmer.

“Just having all those all those girls, we’re just all best friends and we get to push each other every day and we just all support each other,” Stevens said. “We know we have such great potential and it does push us because we want to be better for the team. Even if I’m having a rough day and feel like I don’t want to keep going harder at practice, I think about doing it for the team.” 

Harris and the rest of the girls swimming team will look to continue their success in the next invite Friday, Jan. 27 at Westside High School.  



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