Tatnall School senior Kaitlyn Jones discusses her three girls swimming state records and one national record set at the DIAA Swimming & Diving Championships held in March. The Newark resident will attend the University of Virginia on a swimming scholarship.
The DIAA Swimming & Diving Championships featured the usual in Salesianum winning the boys state championship and Charter School of Wilmington winning the girls state championship, but The Tatnall School's Kaitlyn Jones stole the show with a stellar individual performance that put her in the record books.
Jones broke Olympian Missy Franklin's national high school record in the 200-yard individual medley by more than half a second and she also broke state records en route to winning the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle individual state championships.
Jones recently took some time to chat with the Hockessin Community News about her recent accomplishments and what lies in the future for the record breaker.
Q Did you know going into the DIAA championships that the state records and the national record were within reach for you?
A Going in, I wanted to get the state record in all of them. But my big goal was the national record in the IM. I knew I was near it. So, why not try?
Q Were you surprised at your results?
A I trained a lot and trained very hard. To get that record it wasn't that much of a surprise. But it was kind of cool to see what I could accomplish with all my hard work.
Q States at the University of Delaware's Rawstrom Natatorium always gets really loud with teammates and coaches cheering you on. Does that really make a difference?
A It's always good to have your team's support. When I'm swimming in a race I really can't hear anything; I'm just focused on the race. But when you finish the race and you can hear the crowd cheering for you it's pretty cool.
Q How often do you swim? Is it a year round endeavor?
A It's year round – 11 ½ months of the year. I get two weeks off in August. So I'm always training.
Q What is next for you?
A I'll be headed to the University of Virginia to swim under Mark Bernardino and to reach new levels. I'm excited. It's a swimming scholarship. I only applied to Virginia in the fall. I took three recruiting trips to Texas, Sothern California and the University of Virginia. I just fell in love with Virginia – with the campus, the school, and the swim team. It has a great education program. It was just awesome.
Q Is it possible the events you normally swim in can change in college?
A It can definitely change in college. I'll probably be doing the same events but I'll be doing what's best for the team.
Q What would you say about the coaching you received?
A I had the same coach since I was 8, but I had a coaching change in the fall. It really put perspective things. I learned something about myself. I learned that life goes on. And you can still swim fast if you're having a bad day and have fun. I would have had to change coaches next year anyway. The coach I have now and the coach I had before were both excellent.
Q Did you enjoy competing with your sister at Tatnall?
A Yes, it was awesome. We had two years of being on the relays together. That was nice.
MORE ABOUT KAITLYN JONES
SCHOOL The Tatnall School
FAMILY Parents Kelly and Rick Jones, sister Meghan, freshman at Tatnall
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITES Delaware Swim Team
TV SHOW Pretty Little Liars