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Rachel Komisarz, 2001 Masters Swimmer of the Year

Rewrote the record book

P H Mullen | May 7, 2002

All of 25 years, Louisville's Rachel Komisarz is the baby of this year's elite group of all-stars. She's also its ringer, for Komisarz is really a stunningly fast member of USA Swimming's national team who has competed in just a handful of Masters meets. She first entered a local competition because it was the only meet in town when she needed to test her speed in a race situation.

At the 2000 Olympic Trials, the 1999 University of Kentucky graduate reached the finals in no fewer than five events. Not bad, considering she'd only been swimming six years at the time. Since then, she's reduced her events to middle-distance freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly.

Currently, she's living out her straightforward credo, "Follow your heart," by training full time for the 2004 Olympic Trials with Louisville's famed Seahawks team (Mary T. Meagher's old club).

Komisarz ended 2001 ranked number 14 globally in both the 400-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly, and is currently ranked number three in the 100-meter (short course) butterfly. At last summer's World University Games, she swam all lifetime bests. Swimming experts say she is a legitimate contender for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

In one weekend of Masters competition, Komisarz rewrote the record book, establishing five national yard standards in the 19-24 age group. Later, she aged-up into the 25-29 age group and set three long course world records with mind-bendingly fast times: 8:47.44 for the 800-meter freestyle; 16:39.77 for the 1500-meter freestyle; and 1:01.44 for the 100 meter-butterfly.

published in Swim magazine, May-June, 2002

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