JSerra Swimmer’s Future To Include Berkeley, Maybe Olympics

The following story was published in the current edition of The Capistrano Dispatch:

What does an Olympics-caliber swimmer with a 4.58 GPA do next?

Casey Mims

Sign a letter of intent to swim at the University of California at Berkeley, of course.

JSerra Catholic High School senior Casey Mims is a record-breaking swimmer with big potential, said Mary McLaughlin, JSerra’s swimming coach. She is a “hard worker who younger students look up to and are motivated by,” she said.

Although Mims may be shy outside the water, she is a fierce competitor within her lanes, McLaughlin said.

She recently exhibited her competitive spirit, earning the right to compete for a spot at the 2012 Olympics in London on the U.S. Swim Team.

Mims swims the 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley (IM), and 100m butterfly. At last year’s league finals, she placed first in the 100m breaststroke and the 100m butterfly – a surprise, McLaughlin said, because McLaughlin “just recently threw her in there because she had great fly form.”

“I was really excited for the opportunity,” Mims said. “I swam butterfly in my IM but not in a race by itself before. I look forward to swimming it this season for school again.”

In May, Mims was named the Orange County Register’s Female Athlete of the Week and qualified for the USA Junior National Team and the All-American team. Her spot on the All-American team gave her a chance to compete in Ireland, which she declined – so she could swim for JSerra at CIF. “The meet in Ireland was only two weeks before CIF,” Mims said. “I wanted to swim for my high school and be part of the team.”       

Not only does Mims have the chance to compete in places around the world, but she also qualified for the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, to determine if she will make the 2012 national team. This will be he second Olympic Trials.

Mims is also a star outside the pool; she’s member of the principal’s honor roll, the National Honors Society, the California Scholarship Federation, and is a four-year USA Academic All-American. And now, she can add future member of Berkeley’s swim team, coached by Teri McKeever, who has coached Olympians such as Natalie Coughlin.

“I’m really excited for the chance to swim at Cal.,” Mims said. “It’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait.”

Trinity League champs

In other JSerra sports news, the girls’ cross country team – ranked #1 in the state – won the team’s first ever Trinity League title Friday. The team of Colby Lindholm, Hannah Hunsaker, Caitlin Nilssen, Ashley Nilssen, Leah Vitrano, Michelle Vaday, and Katherine Delaney knocked off defending champions Orange Lutheran, and now advance to CIF postseason competition.

The softball team has a new coach. Frank Rizzo, of San Juan Capistrano. Rizzo’s resume includes more than 300 wins at Concordia University. Also making recent headlines was the football team, which was ranked among the county’s top 10 for the first time in school history.

And finally, baseball coach Brett Kay signed on to coach the Lions for another five years.