Monterio no average swimmer

February 02, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Mackenzie Monterio isn't your average eighth-grade swimmer.

She has already rewritten sections of Boyle County's swimming records, and this is only her second season on the team.

As she prepares for her second regional meet this weekend in Versailles, Monterio hope to get back to the state meet she reached last year.

"I've been working really hard, so I think I can definitely win backstroke," Monterio said. "I'm actually a lot better (than last year). I've been practicing really hard and I've been dropping a lot more time than I was last year at this time of the season."

Monterio went to state in the 100-meter butterfly last season, finishing second in the region and 23rd in the state.

Boyle coach Crystal Estest said she expects Monterio to win both of her events, the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly, at the regional meet.


Monterio admits she had a case of nerves at the state meet last year, and said that experience should help her this year.

"Last year, I was so nervous that I didn't really swim that well," Monterio said. "This year, I know what it's going to be like and I've swam at UK a lot since then, so it won't be as much pressure (if she gets to the state meet)."

Monterio hasn't shown much aversion to pressure. Despite being only in middle school, she has already broken three Boyle school records: the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

One of those records used to belong to Estes.

"I expect her to break the school records she already has, and to continue to do that," Estes said. "For her to have done what she's already done at such a young age is wonderful for her, and I expect her to only get better."

"I didn't think I'd break three within my first two years," Monterio said.

Monterio is definitely confident, and her swimming shows that. Her ability to focus on the task at hand helps her, according to Estes.

"She's very goal-oriented and she knows what she has to do to accomplish them," the Boyle coach said.

Monterio's future goals might seem strange to some. Rather than finding one or two events she excels at and sticking with them, Monterio said she has every intention of being successful in all of them.

"I want to, at least, win the region every year and make it to state," Monterio said. "Maybe I'll do different events every year just to do something different and still make it to state."

Her early success has led to support from some teammates and scorn from others. But Monterio said she appreciates those that appreciate her.

"Some of them are really supportive and really helpful," Monterio said. "Bruna (Lozano) is always congratulating me and stuff, but then others are just like 'Well, she gets really lucky,' and stuff like that. But most of them are really appreciative and excited."

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