LONGMONT — The idea might have flopped for Kevin Costner.
Laura Wright, however, would fit perfectly into a “Waterworld.”
The 2004-05 Daily Times-Call Swimmer of the Year — and Skyline High School senior — finds herself near the water almost enough to change her species classification, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
When she’s not competing, she’s training. When she’s not training, she’s lifeguarding. When she’s not lifeguarding, she’s either eating or sleeping, and that about makes up her seven days of the week right there.
“I’ve never met anyone so dedicated,” Skyline swim coach Barb Hillstrom said.
Wright — who won six state titles over her career, including two this year in the 100-yard freestyle and
the 200 individual medley — shows no signs of stopping, either.
She’ll attend Rutgers University this fall on a 90 percent athletic scholarship. Until then, she’ll keep training with the Longmont Redtails club swim team.
NCAA swimming will be a completely different experience for her, though.
“I’m going to be the underdog,” Wright said. “It’s going to be an interesting adjustment, but I’m going to try and use that to my advantage.”
It will certainly be something to get used to for a girl who takes with her every individual swim record that Skyline knows.
“I imagine those records will outlive me,” Hillstrom said. “They’ll definitely outlive my coaching career.
“Those kids that held the records before her were good swimmers, and Laura absolutely demolished them. I honestly think they’ll never be touched.”
Wright isn’t as cocky.
“That’s funny,” she said in response to Hillstrom’s comments. “That would be awesome if I came back for my 20-year reunion and my records were still on the wall.”
All in all, Wright said she’s enjoyed her time at Skyline. Pasta parties, sleepovers and long weekends cooped into high school pools are memories she’ll hold onto tightly during her first few weeks away from home.
“I am really proud to have been apart of this Skyline team,” Wright said. “We had a lot of success this year. I love all the girls, and they showed so much heart and dedication this season. I’m definitely going to miss it all.”
Before her next four-year stage in life is over, Wright hopes to make it to the NCAA Swimming Championships. Hillstrom seems to think that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“(Wright) knows, realistically, that it will be darn hard to make the Olympics,” Hillstrom said. “But she’s only 17 years old. Swimmers don’t usually peak until their mid-20s. She’s going to improve a ton over the next few years, and I think she has a very good chance to do some wonderful things.”
Wright will be missed in the halls of Skyline. Not just for her outstanding achievements in the pool, but mostly for her everyone-else-comes-first attitude.
“It’s impossible to replace her,” Hillstrom said. “I asked her mother to have more kids, but she said, ‘No chance.’
“She’s one of the greatest kids I’ve ever met, and I know she’s going to do very well in life.”