Dedham’s Anne Kaduboski puts her focus on Olympic swim trials
Kaduboski focuses on Olympic trials
Anne Kaduboski (inset) was sitting on her couch, cellphone in hand, contemplating an important life decision.
It was early August, and on the television, a few of her friends and former competitors were racing at the US Swimming National Championships at Stanford University in California.
The recent Bentley graduate could have been there - her times at the 2011 NCAA Division 2 championships made the cut.
But she wasn’t. Kaduboski had hung up her suit and cap prior to graduation, exhausted after 12 years of competitive swimming that started at the Dedham Pool as a youngster. So instead of racing at the national event, she watched and exchanged text messages with her former coach at Bentley, Mary Kay Samko.
The texts confirmed to Samko what she’d suspected for months - Kaduboski was not really ready to call it quits.
“She’d text me, ‘Did you see that? Did you see that?’ ’’ Samko said. “She said she wanted to do that, so I said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ ’’
Samko, along with current Brandeis coach Michael Kotch, a former assistant at Bentley, offered to coach Kaduboski if and when she reentered the world of competitive swimming. It was an easy move for Samko: During the past four years, she had watched Kaduboski become the most decorated swimmer in program history.
Her last swim as a collegian - at the Division 2 championships - had been her finest. She finished in the top 10 in the 200-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard butterfly. The performances earned the senior All-American honors for the second time. (She is the first Bentley swimmer to earn All-American honors.)
She was the Northeast-10 butterfly champion three times. When she graduated, she held six individual school records, and was a part of four record-setting relay teams.
“She improved every year for four years,’’ Samko said. “She works really hard. If you give her something to do, she does it. You’d love to have like 50 of your kids do that.’’
The training and competition, however, took their toll on Kaduboski. She’d been competing in the pool since she was 10, and when the chance to step away came at the end of the season, it was a temptation she couldn’t resist.
She didn’t quit entirely. She continued to lift weights, run, and even hop in the pool once a week. The workout regimen wasn’t close to what she’d done as a competitive swimmer, but it kept her in reasonable shape as she prepared for graduate school.
Her swimming career never drifted far from her mind. After the Division 2 championships, Kaduboski had talked with Samko about her performance.
“The Olympic trials are faster than even the Olympics themselves,’’ Kaduboski said. “It’s probably one of the greatest accomplishments you can have in swimming. Why not train for another year to have that experience for the rest of your life?’’
Samko told Kaduboski that if she was going to make a run at the Olympic trials in June, she’d need to start training by Sept. 1.
“I thought about it a lot for that month,’’ Kaduboski said. “I decided to swim because I thought it’d be a really cool experience to go to the Olympic trials.’’
Kaduboski didn’t take the decision lightly. She had already signed on as an assistant swim coach at Regis College, and between those duties, grad school (at Regis), and practicing, her free time is at a premium. It’s a lifestyle she said she might not be able to pull off if she hadn’t taken the summer months off.
Earlier this month, Kaduboski made her first run at qualifying for the Olympic trials, competing in the AT&T Winter Nationals in Atlanta.
Kaduboski competed in the 200-meter butterfly, and finished 48th with a time of 2:18.82. Samko calculated Kaduboski to be about a second faster than she was in the 200-yard butterfly at the Division 2 finals.
More importantly, the time puts her within two seconds of the qualifying time for the Olympic trials.
“I only had three months of training behind me,’’ Kaduboski said. “Usually, I’d train for seven or eight months before ever swimming that fast. I think I’m right on track to go two seconds faster.’’
Kaduboski plans to compete in a few more races in March or April. Until then, the 7 a.m. practices will continue, as will her hopes that in late June, she’ll be in Omaha, Neb., fighting for a spot on the US Olympic team. It would beat watching it from her couch.
Here and there
Rockland’s Alyssa Jasper (inset) arrived at Worcester State this fall hoping to make an impact on the school’s athletic program.
It didn’t take the freshman long. In the fall season, she was second on the Lancer volleyball squad in kills, earning second team all-conference honors in the MASCAC.
The fall season is over, but Jasper continues to make an impact. Earlier this week, she earned Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honors in the MASCAC for her performance at the Harvard Open.
Jasper competed in three events, capturing a fifth-place finish in the shot put. Her 11.72-meter toss qualified her for the ECAC Championships in just her second meet of the season.
“As far as getting it so early, I didn’t think I’d do that,’’ said Jasper, who was the EMass. Division 4 state champion in the shot and the discus as a senior at Rockland High. “I didn’t feel like it was that good a throw when I threw it. It didn’t feel great, so I was surprised I got it.’’ . . . Weymouth High grad Sarah Collins continued her stellar play for the Babson women’s basketball team, averaging 19.5 points and 14 rebounds in a pair of victories for the Beavers, nationally ranked in Division 3. Babson has won 49 straight games against NEWMAC foes. . . . Katie Sheehan of Scituate was named Little East Rookie of the Week after finishing third in the mile (5:36.01) at the Harvard Open last weekend, the fourth-best time in program history. She has qualified for the New England Division 3 and ECAC meets.