When Katie Turner’s family moved into a home that had a pool, she immediately took a liking to the water.

“I just kept jumping into water at the age of 1 or 2, and my mom was like, ‘We’re going to get you some swim lessons; we’re going to do this,” the Seymour senior said.

“I was 3 1/2 years old and I was able to keep myself afloat with my arms, so it was just a perfect fit, so easily, so nice. It worked out.”

Turner began swimming on the Seymour swim team at age 4.

“I was one of the youngest swimmers that Coach (Dave) Boggs ever brought on to the team,” Turner said. “I started as a minnow and worked my way up. I’ve had different sets of coaches, but Dave Boggs is definitely the longest coach that I’ve ever had.”

Turner likes the variety of events during a meet.

“I hold the school record in the 100-yard backstroke, but I’m a very versatile swimmer,” Turner said. “The 50 free is one of my favorite events, but so is the 500 freestyle. I really enjoy having that ability to do sprints or do distance. I really enjoy the 50 free because it’s so exhilarating, you have to have everything so perfect. People say it’s the easiest physically, but you have to have that perfect start, perfect turns.

“I’m really working up on the 200 freestyle. I’m second in school history. I took on that event out on a limb, like a one-time thing I thought, and I really enjoyed swimming that. I have a feeling I will continue the 200 freestyle and the 100 back again this season.”

Turner has been a member of all three relay teams that hold school records, and she has been on 200 free relays teams that qualified for state in 2015 and 2017.

“I really enjoy the 200 medley because I get to swim a 50 backstroke, so I enjoy getting to be a leadoff in the 200 medley relay,” Turner said.

The swim teams practice three says a week before school, plus afternoons and Saturday morning practices throughout the winter.

“(Swimming) takes a lot of dedication,” Turner said. “Some people think I’m absolutely nuts. My alarm clock goes off at 5:15 a.m. almost every day, and even on Saturday we’re up before the sun shines. I go into practice when it’s dark and I leave the pool when it’s dark.

“You have to know that it’s going to be hard, but know good results will come. There’s practices where there are some people who don’t want to be there some days, and there are other people that want to be. To be the absolute best swimmer I can be, I know I have to do this.”

Turner said when she arrives at away pools especially, wants to get a feel for the water, and starting blocks and work on her turns.

“Hopefully before the meet I am prepared in my events,” she said. “I know what’s going to happen, so whenever I get to the pool I try to recognize the special features the pool has to it. Just getting used to the pool during warm ups is very important to me.”

The pool at Seymour is a special place for Turner.

“I love the home meets,” Turner said. “I love seeing the big crowd. I love seeing everyone excited at a place I’ve been for nearly 14 years. It exciting to see all my hard work pay off.”

She said her favorite away pool during the season is Floyd Central and the IUPUI Natatorium, where the state meet is contested.

“I really enjoy the IUPUI Natatorium,” Turner said. “I got to swim there in age group when I was younger in state meets, and now two trips to state in high school I’ve gotten to swim there.”

Turner is a team captain this season and said she enjoy filling a leadership role.

There are 37 on the girls swim team this winter.

“It’s really nice having more options to put people in races,” Turner said. “It’s really neat seeing kids that have never swam before in their life and come in here and do pretty well.

“We have girls and boys from all different sports that come from soccer to swimming that have never done it before, same with volleyball, and there are some really good athletes that opened a lot of doors for us.”

She said getting more school records is important to her.

“I’m excited to hopefully break the 200 freestyle record and maybe the 500 free,” Turner said. “I’d like to break my 100 back record again, and the 50 free.

“I really hope to edge those school records or at least be the top two in all of those. I’d like to do very well with the whole team. The team is super important to me. I need to work hard every day and I can’t let those bad days get in my mind. I have to keep pushing no matter what and just keep excelling at what I do.”

Her brother, Luke, is a member of the boys swim team.

“I absolutely love swimming with my brother,” Turner said. “He’s going to be embarrassed that I’m going to say this, but he’s absolutely my best friend, and it’s so important for me to have him in the pool.

“We’re finally at about the same speed. When we were little I was always faster than him, so finally this year he’s starting to beat me in things so it’s a nice little brother and sister competition.”

She has enjoyed attending Seymour.

“There is nowhere else I’d rather be,” Turner said. “I know there are some setbacks, but can’t outweigh the positives that this give to me. I’m in many AP and dual-credit courses. My freshmen, sophomore and junior years I really pushed myself in the classroom.”

Turner file

Name: Katie Turner

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Jess and Sara Turner

Sibling: Luke

Sports: Swimming, four years

Athletics highlights: 2016, 2017 most valuable swimmer; school records in the 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 100 back; 2015, 2017 state qualifier in 200 free relay, 2017 HHC champion 200 free relay; Wendy’s Heisman school winner.

Organizations: National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions DARE Role Model, Student Government, Dance Committee, Student Athletic Board, Spell Bowl.

Plans after high school: Attend college, study business

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite TV show: “Pretty Little Liars”

Favorite musician: Chance the Rapper

Favorite movie: “Step Brothers”

Favorite team: Chicago Cubs

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.