BY ROB LAPLANTE
Kasey Roberts proved as a sophomore that she was one of the state’s elite high school swimmers.
Now, in her junior season on the St. Michael-Albertville girls’ swimming and diving team, Roberts has her eyes set on an even better finish than the all-state placing she finished a year ago.
“I want to win state,” said Roberts, who was quick to point out her individual goal for this year. Last year she finished third at state in the 200-individual medley and sixth in the 100 breaststroke.
While her individual goals are set high, she is far from a selfish player. Roberts said the thing that would delight her the most is for her teammates to join her. Last year, teammates Krista Erickson and Katie Schmitz – otherwise known as “K-Cubed” – joined Roberts as individual participants at the U of M Aquatic Center.
“I would love for us to bring our relay teams to state,” Roberts said. “I have so many good friends on the team and to share that experience with them as well as my sister would be so much fun.”
Early in the season, the Knights relay teams have already broke three pool records. Recently at the Melrose dual meet, Roberts and her freshman sister Carly, along with Schmitz and sophomore Lexi Heil set a pool record in the 400 freestyle relay.
The same relay team set a Big Lake pool record two days later at the Big Lake Relay Invitational. Kasey, Carly, Heil and junior Josie Burns also set a Big Lake pool record in the 200 freestyle relay.
“Kasey is very focused and always knows what she wants,” said STMA head coach Tom Guillou. “Whether it’s a dual meet or at state, she is always striving for pool records.”
Individually, Roberts has already broke six school pool records this season. She said her goal of winning state would not only help her become one of the top ranked swimmers for next season, but it would help her in landing her ultimate goal of someday swimming in the collegiate ranks.
“I would love to swim for a team in college,” she said. “I’m originally from Wisconsin, so it would be a dream to be able to swim in the Big-10 someday.”
“She is definitely a Division-I college swimmer,” said Guillou, who spent four years swimming at the University of Minnesota.
Unlike a lot of high school kids, Roberts is not a multi-sport, student athlete at STMA. Instead, she spends her entire time focusing on swimming. In the off-season, she spends time swimming for the Sea Devils USA club team.
When she’s not swimming competitively, she spends her time on her studies. She recently was named to USA’s Swimming Scholastic All-America Team. This honor goes to high school students, grades 10-12, that meet their required time in a single event, as well as boasting a GPA of 3.5 or better.
As a junior, she has set one of her swimming peers as a person she looks up to the most – four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin.
“She’s a 17-year old senior in high school who came away with all those medals,” Roberts said. “She showed girls at a young age that they can go on to the Olympics and succeed.”
If Roberts continues to break pool records and someday reaches her goal of becoming a state champion, it’s very possible another 17-year old girl someday will be looking at her career as someone to model after.