Olympic swimmer to meet fans in Arlington Heights next week
Source: Daily Herald
By Eileen O. Daday | Daily Herald Columnist
As part of their effort to connect high achieving athletes with local runners and triathletes, the owners of Runner’s High ‘n’ Tri in Arlington Heights are sponsoring an appearance by Olympic silver medalist Kara Lynn Joyce.
Swimmer Joyce was part of the women’s 4 X 100 freestyle relay, anchored by Dora Torres, who won silver in Beijing, and she was a finalist in the 50-meter freestyle event. But she had scored plenty of records of her own before this summer’s Olympic Games.
For starters, she is an 18-time NCAA champion. She remains the only swimmer to win four consecutive NCAA titles, in both the 50-freestyle and the 100-freestyle, when she swam for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, from 2003 to 2007.
Joyce also won a pair of silver medals in 2004, in Athens, when she swam on the 400 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay.
Store owners say Joyce will have all of her medals with her, as well as her state-of-the-art laser suit, at the free presentation, which takes place from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the store, located at 121 W. Campbell St. in downtown Arlington Heights.
“She’ll talk about her practices as an age group swimmer, a high school and collegiate athlete, as well as an Olympian,” says co-owner Mark Rouse. “But she’ll also stress academics.”
Leading up to the appearance, Joyce is expected to visit with the girls’ swim teams at Prospect and Hersey high schools, during their regular after school training, to provide some inspiration during the early part of their season.
It was in high school swimming where Joyce first made her splash. After moving to Ann Arbor, Mich., with her family, she attended Pioneer High School, where she ultimately would set five Michigan state records, on her way to being named an All-American swimmer.
Ironically, Rouse went to the same high school, though a few years earlier. He notes, that his father served as athletic director at Pioneer High during the years of Title IX and of establishing equality in girls’ athletics.
“We wanted to bring in an Olympic athlete to the store, and she had a nice local connection for me,” Rouse says. “It was something we could do, and we felt it was good for the whole community.”