COVINGTON, Ga. — Making history is not enough for Eastside freshman swimmer Alice Kennedy.
Kennedy became the first-ever female swimmer from Eastside to qualify for a state meet, doing so with a time of 57.58 in the 100m freestyle at the NewRock championships. She finished 36th in her heat, with a time of 57.81, just missing the top 30 mark to advance to finals at this past weekend’s Class AAAA state meet in the 100m freestyle.
She has had a stellar first year as an Eagle as she went on to break or have a part in breaking seven of the school’s 11 female swimming records, with four of those coming in individual events: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 500m freestyle.
Although Kennedy is very pleased with her accomplishments this season, she still is hungry to get even better next season and improve on her already outstanding freshman year.
“I can’t believe I made state as a freshman. It’s crazy,” Kennedy said. “Next year, I want to make state in three or four things so that I have options to choose from and what I want to swim.”
She does not have just herself in mind though. Kennedy hopes to help use her outstanding swimming prowess to bring along a few friends at the state level as well.
“One of my main goals for next swim season is to try to get one of my relays to make state because I want them to have that experience.”
Kennedy has been swimming since she was eight years old and she said coaches like Eastside head swim coach Deanna O’Brien and Rockdale Riptides coach Sean Willette have helped her very much along the way.
However, O’Brien had nothing but praise for the star freshman and credits multiple qualities for her substantial skill.
“She’s extremely dedicated, especially for a freshman, and she’s very, very disciplined,” O’Brien said. “When you watch her in the water, her stroke is absolutely beautiful and she makes it look easy. She has natural talent.”
O’Brien went on to say that she hopes other up-and-coming swimmers are inspired by Kennedy and will try to mirror the same level of dedication that she displays.
Heading into her sophomore year, Kennedy says that she plans to hit the gym and do more land workouts in hopes of competing at multiple events at the state level in 2020. While these goals may be short term, she also has some long-term goals in mind that she would love to see come true in her home state.
“For next year, I’ll definitely practice harder and workout more, especially more land workouts because I mainly just do swimming,” said Kennedy. “I want to swim in college for sure, but I have to prove a lot. I would love to swim at Georgia Tech so that’s the main goal.”
O’Brien believes that the sky is the limit for Kennedy and believes anything is possible for the young swimmer.
“I would expect her to qualify in probably two to three events next year for state,” O’Brien said. “I can definitely see Alice being a state champion and qualifying all four years during her high school career.”
As just a freshman, Kennedy has already displayed her immense talent in the pool, and she will be one to watch as she has a very bright future ahead of her.