Millard North swimmer Mary Kate Luddy is the state leader in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:11.69. The junior is also second in the 500 freestyle (5:14.90) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:58.30) and 100 butterfly (59.86), and leads off the 200 medley relay team that ranks second in the state. She was part of the 2012 state-winning 200 medley relay and competes for Swim Omaha. She moved here from the East Coast and is looking at returning there for college.
Q: How did you get involved in swimming?
A: We had a neighborhood pool and my grandparents lived on a lake, so my parents wanted me to be able to swim.
Q: What's your favorite event?
A: The 400 IM, which is not a high school event. I like how it has four different strokes, I like the length and it's really challenging.
Q: How many hours a week do you put into swimming?
A: Probably around 20. We have practice at 5:15 in the morning. It's pretty tough. I get up around 4:30 usually. It makes for a long school day.
Q: What time do you go to bed?
A: I try to go to bed around 10:30 or 11. You have to get all that homework done.
Q: Your coach, Tara O'Shea, says you also excel in the classroom?
A: I'm pretty focused on school. I'm really competitive when it comes to grades, too. I have a 3.97 unweighted GPA. Weighted, it's like a 4.0.
Q: You say you're super-competitive?
A: My family doesn't want to play board games with me and stuff. It's my personality, I guess.
Q: What do you like about swimming?
A: I like how you are responsible for your own stuff. Like how it's a team sport and an individual sport at the same time. You control how fast you are going.
Q: Do you put in extra work?
A: I'll just go to the gym sometimes and do some running if we don't run at practice.
Q: What are your goals for this year?
A: I just want to do the best I can. I want to finish the season not regretting anything I did.
Q: Do you have any pre-swim routines?
A: I'm really weird about my goggles. They have to feel perfect. I'm always afraid they are going to fall off, but they never have. They have to be on my face exactly right.
Q: What's the worst or funniest thing to happen to you in the pool?
A: I'm really clumsy. I always fall down on pool decks. A few weeks ago, I actually fell into the pool right before practice and got a few bruises. It was pretty embarrassing and happens to me a lot. I'm so used to being in the water, I just fall down on land all the time.