ARLINGTON — Before she ever stepped foot in her kindergarten classroom, Arlington High School senior Morgan Ginnis was in the water.
“I’ve been swimming since I was 4 years old,” said Ginnis, 17. “And I started to swim competitively when I was 5 or 6 years old.”
Ginnis became interested in the sport after her older brother started swimming.
“I always wanted to follow him,” she laughed. “I learned to swim and trained at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School pool for a long time, with their team, the Mighty Marlins.”
When she was 13 years old she moved to a new swim club known as West Coast Aquatics, and six months ago she joined the King Aquatic Club.
More than 13 years of swimming have proven useful to Ginnis, who recently broke three national relay records set by Olympians at the Federal Way Aquatic Center, where she practices and competes with the King Aquatic Club. Arlington High School does not have a swim team, so Ginnis does not compete in high school swimming.
“We practice at the Aquatic Center in Federal Way or Mount Rainier High School,” said Ginnis, who had to quit her part-time job at a clothing store to commit more time to her sport. “I commute from Arlington to Federal Way every single day.”
The King Aquatic Club is very competitive and Ginnis felt that the transition would help her not only improve, but also gain notice from colleges and universities.
“I just felt that it was a better program and something that would get me swimming better,” she said. “The coaches are really great, and I was competing against girls on the team before, so I felt that racing with the competition would help me improve.”
Competing and practicing with higher level swimmers has certainly helped Ginnis, who along with Heidi VanderWel, Carolyn McCann and Hannah Weiss, broke national records in the 200-meter medley relay, the 200-meter freestyle relay and the 400-meter freestyle relay. On Aug. 5, Ginnis and her team traveled to Irvine, Calif., to compete in the Junior National Championships at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.
Junior Nationals is a good place to get noticed by colleges and universities looking to add skilled swimmers to their rosters.
“There are a lot of colleges and universities here, and on Friday, at the end of the meet after my final relay, is when I can talk to them,” she said.
She has already gotten calls from a few universities and spoken with them over the phone, but the opportunity to compete in front of them is priceless.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “It will be great to show them what I can do.”
For more information on the King Aquatic Club, call 206-306-6040.