Athlete Spotlight: Millbrook swimmer Katie Kozlowski
Millbrook High School 17-year-old senior
Events: 100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle, 200 medley relay
Parents: Denise and Fred Kozlowski
Hometown: Winchester (born in Charlottesville)
When did you start swimming: I first started when I was 8. My mom was really big into swimming.
What you love about swimming: I really love my teammates. Between Millbrook and my club team, people who I would not have met any other way became some of my close friends.
Biggest strength and weakness in swimming: [Strength], my breaststroke kick, and the fact that I still like [the event] after so many years. And I try to be positive at practice. My biggest weakness is probably my butterfly and my inability to dolphin kick. I struggle with my turn because of the dolphin kick off the turn.
Sport you always wanted to try: I think water polo would be fun, because over the summer we do that as a game at practice. But I think it would be fun to actually play that sport.
Most memorable moment in swimming: Probably my sophomore year at the [Group AA/A] state meet. I tied for 16th place [in preliminaries in the 100 breaststroke], so we had to a swim-off at the end of the day [to move on to Saturday finals]. All the county and city schools stayed and watched to see me and another girl, and I ended up winning to move on to the next day. That’s my favorite memory.
Most embarrassing moment in swimming: One time, for a backstroke event, I accidentally climbed up on the block to do a dive, and they had to tell me to step down to get in the water. That wasn’t very good. I got a lot of smack from my teammates.
Favorite athlete: [Olympic gold medal breaststroker] Rebecca Soni. Her breaststroke is amazing, and it’s fast.
Favorite sports team: New England Patriots
Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: [Duchess of Cambridge] Kate Middleton, Oprah Winfrey, and [gold medal swimmer] Michael Phelps. I just think it’d be interesting to hear what each of them had to say.
Favorite Quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss. It’s something my mom said to me forever ago. I was having a rough day, and she said that to me, and it stuck with me. For me, coming into the end of my high school career, it has meaning.
Favorite subject in school: I really like Government this year. Since it’s been election season, to actually see what we’re talking about in class actually happening is great. Our teacher’s really good about taking clips from C-Span that we can then watch, so we can see what we’re talking about is actually happening.
What’s on the iPod: I have a lot of country. Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean.
Pre-meet routine/ritual: Before a meet, I generally don’t eat that much. I’ll have plain pasta, no red sauce or anything. If there’s a warm-up pool, there’s a specific warm-up I’ll do every time. Get behind the blocks and get in the right mental state.
Plans after high school: I plan on going to college, but I’m not sure which one yet. I’ve been accepted to UVa, but I’ve applied to five other schools because I’m horrible at making decisions, so I’ll probably decide before all my other stuff is due. I’m planning on going pre-med, then medical school after. This semester I get to do a GIS mentorship with Alyson Humphreys, a physician assistant at Winchester Orthopaedic, so I got to have a lot of hands-on experience – I was in the room with patients, I got to go into surgery. So that really sealed the deal in me being like, ‘I actually want to do this the rest of my life.’
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki