BY YANEEK SMITH
Kami Periat’s accomplishments as a freshman swimmer were worthy of high praise. Her sophomore season was even more successful as she finished in the top 10 in two events, finishing second in the 50 freestyle in 23.68 seconds in Division II, just 0.44 of a second from winning the state championship. She also finished 11th in the 100 butterfly in 57.64.
Last season, Periat, who has been swimming for nine years, was 10th in the 50 free (24.21) and 10th in the 100 fly (58.17) in Division II, some of the highest finishes ever for a Port Clinton swimmer.
Her coach, Danny Diaz, talked about what makes her such a great swimmer.
“I think it’s her dedication to the sport. She really reads into the sport and is really technical, thinks about how fast she should turn. She’s very meticulous with her mechanics,” he said. “She loves it. It’s one of those sports where you have a love-hate relationship with it. She works hard at it, and she’s a real student of the sport of swimming.
“She has phenomenal family support in all of her endeavors. Her coaches support her, I support her. What sets her apart is her internal drive to be the best she can be.”
“I believe my motivation comes solely from the support of my family. Both my parents were amazing athletes in high school. My dad even played college football. So as you can probably tell, sports are valued very highly in my home,” she said. “From them, I learned how to set high expectations and how to achieve them. I also get an ample amount of encouragement from my other family members, especially my grandfather. When I feel like giving up, they give me the push I need to realize what I can accomplish if I keep going.”
Periat talked about her workout regimen.
“During the season, we practice six days a week. I like to put all my energy and focus into the workouts Coach Diaz gives us, so I stay away from additional physical activity,” Periat said. “As for the offseason, I like to put in extra effort to prepare for what’s most important: high school season. I swim for Sand Otter Swimming in Fremont five days a week, and I try to go to as many camps as possible. I also like to run and lift on my own time.”