The junior likes to set her goals high, and she celebrates when she reaches them.
Entering the swimming season this winter at Etowah, Weiss set three goals for herself. While she was only able to accomplish one of them, she found another reason to celebrate.
After placing as an individual in two events, and helping her team in two relays, at the Class AAAAAA state championships, Weiss is the 2012-13 Cherokee Tribune Girls Swimmer of the Year.
“It was very exciting,” Weiss said of the honor. “There are a lot of great swimmers in the area, so it’s an honor.”
Weiss placed fourth in the state in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 8.22 seconds, but her best finish was in the 100 butterfly, in which she placed third at 55.42 seconds. She swam the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay, which finished ninth, and anchored the 400 free relay, which finished seventh.
As a team, Etowah placed seventh in the girls standings.
Weiss’ three goals for the season were achieving personal bests in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly and to place in the top three as an individual at state
“Although I wasn’t able to get personal bests, I was able to get season bests,” Weiss said, “and I was able to place in state. I think the fact that I was able to reach one of my goals gave me enough satisfaction that I was able to be content with my season. Not meeting the others will drive me for next season.”
Weiss is looking forward to next season, but she won’t really be taking any time off.
A competitive swimmer for 10 years, she has been a member of the Stingrays club team for three years and swims year-round. She said she enjoys competing against herself as much as competing against other swimmers.
“I really enjoy the challenge that it provides — being able to set goals for yourself, and the feeling of accomplishment that you get when you reach those goals,” Weiss said.
Before her next high school season begins, Weiss hopes to improve some of her times. She is working on her turns underwater, her breaststroke and “lots of little things.”
“I’m very excited for my senior year,” said Weiss, who practices three to four hours a day, six days a week, at the Central Aquatic Center in Marietta. “It will be exciting because it’s my last (season), and I will be hoping to make it good.”
Through her club team, Weiss works with coaches Ian Goss, who she says “is great.”
“He has produced a lot of really fast swimmers. And our assistant coach, Michael (Soderlund), who is an ex-Olympian from Sweden, so he brings a lot of great experience as well,” Weiss added. “I trust everything that Ian and Michael say, 100 percent.”
Weiss said the most difficult part of being a successful swimmer is keeping her mental game in focus.
“It’s a difficult sport, especially when you go a long time without going a best time,” she said. “The hardest part is pushing through that and continuing to train so that you can meet those goals.”
Weiss said swimming has been a very rewarding experience. She has maintained friendships with several swimmers from childhood, including Etowah teammates Megan Young and Hannah Martin.
“It’s neat to see how everyone has grown, in and out of the water,” Weiss said.
Weiss said Etowah functions so well as a team, despite the swimmers participating as individuals, because they all have the same goals.
“We are all striving toward success, and we are all doing it for Etowah, so I think that kind of binds everyone despite our differences,” she said. “That is what makes this team so great.”