ALA Queen Creek swimmer earns top honors, preps for BYU

Katie McBratney after signing to swim at BYU Wednesday, Nov. 14. (Submitted Photos)

American Leadership Academy Queen Creek’s Katie McBratney was named the 2018 AIA Division III Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row.

This honor tops an all-star high school career for McBratney, a senior, who also finished first in the 200-yard individual medley and second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Wednesday, Nov. 7 Arizona Interscholastic Association Meet of Champions, a new event that brings together the top 10 athletes in each swimming event from the state championship.

“To earn the title of Swimmer of the Year two times in a row is probably one of my favorite things I’ve earned out of my high school career,” McBratney said in a prepared statement.

“Knowing that many coaches voted for me to earn the title is incredible. We were the first one’s ever to compete at this meet, and I think that motivates a lot of other kids for the future.”

Katie McBratney (Submitted Photo)

McBratney, who has been in a swimming club since she was 6 years old, has a long list of accomplishments as she heads to the NCAA next year to compete with Brigham Young University’s swim team, according to a press release.

McBratney’s goal as a senior was to set a state record and she did just that and more. She has the Arizona Division III state swimming records in the 100-yard Breaststroke, 200-yard Individual Medley and the 200-yard Freestyle.

At the national level, she was named in the top 10 for 16-year-olds in the 100-yard breaststroke and top 16- for 17-year-olds for the 50-yard breaststroke, a release states.

McBratney not only excelled in the pool but in the classroom. She earned USA Swimming Scholastic All-American honors in her junior and senior years for qualifying for Junior Nationals and having above a 3.5 GPA.

“Moving to ALA, and being apart of a high school team, taught me a lot about family,” McBratney said.

“I was able to have friends that were behind me, and always cheering me on. I would get texts and little messages from people wishing my ‘good luck’ and ‘congratulations!’ I could see how my swimming was able to introduce me to new people, and to bless lives in ways I didn’t imagine.”

Erin Guerena, ALA Queen Creek’s head swim team coach, said she is always amazed at McBratney’s skill and dedication to the sport along with how supportive and encouraging she is as a team captain.

“She is the biggest encourager and cheerleader,” Coach Guerena said in a prepared statement. “You can often find her at the end of a lane cheering on a teammate. She takes time out of her practice to help others swimmers, specifically our breaststrokers.”

Coach Guerena’s advice for Katie heading to the college level is to stay focused on the big picture and that success is a process.

“Heading up to BYU, and getting to swim for the Cougars is something I cannot simply wait for,” McBratney said.

“I hope while I attend, to compete at the NCAA Championships all four years, set new university records, and to attend the Olympic Trials in 2020. I want to be able to stand out on the deck, and be a force of nature to be reckoned with.”

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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