“She never misses a practice, is just an all around great kid. Anything you can think of she does it. She made CIF in her first week.”
That’s right, Thorsness who has never been nominated for anything before “is an extremely hard worker and it has paid off,” comments her coach and nominee. Kellie has qualified for CIF in two events as well as recently (this past Saturday) making a new record for CMHS’s 50 freestyle (2 laps) of 25.05 seconds with a record-breaking 24.96. When I had talked to Thorsness just a few weeks earlier she had displayed just how important that record was to her and showed her determination to break it.
“I have worked really hard every day and have almost broken the school record. I’ve gotten a 25.09 relay and the record is 25.05. I’ll get it.”
She has been involved in aquatics since freshman year. Though she was involved in AYSO soccer before high school, once she followed in her older sibling’s footsteps she had no more time for her old passion. Her older brother and sister were both active in swim and water polo and since it had already run in the family for a few years Kelly decided to give it a try. Her parents were actually never involved in aquatics, her mother played volleyball while her father played baseball, but the trend caught on with her old sister and continued. With AP classes, and being an honor roll student already on her plate she had no time for anything else and made aquatics her main interest. “I fell in love with it,” she said.
Last swim season as a sophomore, Thorsness got considerably sick suffering from two bad rounds of the flu as well as bronchitis that turned into pneumonia, but she didn’t let this phase her. “I had to catch up in school as well into swim. It was hard to get my grades up and get into swim shape, but I did it!” She made quite a comeback at that, being recognized first division all league for swim. She was also able to beat Laguna Beach with the help of her team last year, “felt really nice, definitely best moment so far.”
This junior plans to attend Pomona-Pitzer, a college that revolves around its competitive athletic program, and be a part of their Division I Water Polo team. “It is one other challenge, but I plan on continuing.”
Though she admits that the most challenging part about swim and water polo is that it is really physical and “you have to get really strong” she notes that it is all about your mentality going in. “If she [Coach Smith] throws a hard set at us and we think we can’t do it then we can’t. It’s important to go in and think you can do it.”
Kellie Thorsness, a prime example of someone who knows a little bit about success in Water Polo and Swim encourages girls at Mesa to join aquatics. “It seems scary but it’s not that’s bad. If you try you’ll be fine. People should just try it, it’s really fun and we need girls to join.”
This positive and determined attitude is why The Equestrian is proud to honor Kellie Thorsness as the month of March’s Athlete of the Month.