The Rapids Swim Team is looking for your help to send our own Lauren Walsh to the 2021 Olympic Trials! Lauren has been a member of the Rapids for 8 years and has become a leader our younger swimmers look up to. She is the first Rapid to ever qualify for Olympic Trials, and one of only a handful of Connecticut swimmers to qualify for this elite and prestigious meet.
During the TYR 18U Spring Cup swim meet a few weeks ago in Richmond, Virginia, Lauren finished first in the preliminary 100-meter breaststroke and qualified for Olympic Trials. Later that night, she came back and lowered her time again, winning the event.
Lauren started swimming in 3rd grade as a member of the SMST Rapids Swim Team. As her dedication to training and competition grew, so did her accomplishments. Lauren’s first “big” meet came at the age of 13 when she swam at College Park Maryland in USA Swimming's IM Xtreme Meet. Later that season, Lauren competed at her first Age Group Championships. Lauren holds numerous records with the Rapids Swim Team, as well as the Trumbull High School Girls Swim Team. She also holds the Connecticut record in the 100 yard breaststroke for 15/16-year-old girls. In 2019, Lauren won the High School State Open Meet 100 breaststroke finishing with the State Open Meet record.
Last year, Lauren qualified for and competed at The US Open in Atlanta, her first experience against some of the biggest names in the sport. As one of the youngest swimmers in the meet, she held her own and qualified for finals in the 100 Breaststroke. Gold Medalist Lilly King won the event that night.
In March 2020, Lauren was poised to make a run at her Olympic dream and was on the verge of qualifying for Olympic Trials. Then the pandemic hit and the world shut down. Discouraged, but not defeated, Lauren practiced in her neighbor's chilly pool with a harness as soon as it was open. She continued until we were able to get our team back into a pool and return to practice. Her competitive spirit would not let her down, and she was just hitting her stride again in November when Connecticut put a pause on youth sports. Some athletes would have packed it in and given up, but not Lauren. Coming back from the pause, Lauren was full steam ahead at practice, in the gym and on the track. Her work, patience, and most of all her perseverance paid off.
Lauren has done the hard part - it is now our turn to help make her Olympic dreams come true! We sincerely appreciate any contribution you can make towards our goal of sending Lauren to Olympic Trials in Omaha Nebraska.