Bel Air swimmer Kathy Rising could not have done much better this season.
The sophomore never lost a race and polished off the year with four gold medals to help the Bobcats win Girls Swimmer of the Year
L their third straight Harford County championship on Feb. 18.
Rising won gold in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke and helped the Bobcats to victory in the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relays.
In addition, she turned in the season's top times in the 100 butterfly (1:03.15), 100 freestyle (58.07) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.58). Her times in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley ranked second in the county.
No one else could boast such a season as Rising, The Baltimore Sun's Harford County Girls Swimmer of the Year.
The county record holder in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.32), Rising improved her times throughout the season. She knocked almost two seconds off her best butterfly time and more than a second off her best breaststroke time.
Rising's best quality may be her versatility. She was always willing to swim whatever event coaches Ray Hruz and Jeff DeMott needed her to.
"I don't like swimming the 100 breast every time or the 100 free. I like a variety. That way I can become a better all-around swimmer," said Rising, a team captain who won three gold medals in last year's county meet.
"Kathy doesn't complain about anything," said Hruz, earlier in the season. "If I ask her to do an event, she does it. She's been swimming long enough that she's smart -- she understands strategy."
Rising swims with the Harford County YMCA Hurricanes. Her training schedule can keep her in the water up to 2 1/2 hours a day during the high school season and the hard work has paid off. She recently qualified for her first national competition, the YMCA national championships, in the 100 breaststroke.
The standard for qualifying was 1:10.99. Rising made it in 1:10.60.
Next month, she will head to Florida to compete with other top Y swimmers from across the country.
Rising concentrates on the 100 breaststroke, her best event. If she can get her time under 1:08, she'll be close to the qualifying time for the USS Junior Nationals. The highest level of junior swimming, the junior nationals meet has a qualifying time of 1:07 for the event.