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Boulder Creek student qualifies for Olympic Trials


Jessica Watts


ANTHEM – Everything changes for athletes once the clock strikes midnight of an Olympic year. And for Claire Grover, a sophomore at Boulder Creek High School, qualifying for the Olympic swimming trials has been on her mind for the past year. Grover qualified for the Trials earlier this year at the University of Texas – Austin at a sectionals meet, where she qualified in the 100 meter breaststroke.

“When I looked up at the score board and saw my time, I was like ‘oh my gosh I got it,’” Grover said, after finding out her time at the sectional meet.

Jennifer Reese, Grover’s mother, received the news in a text message because she stayed home and went to her son’s lacrosse tournament that weekend.

“All the parents were sending me videos and were keeping me updated,” Reese said. “When the text came though and I saw her time, I was bursting. I had to stand up and cheer and say ‘she did it.’”

Since qualifying, Grover says her training schedule will remain the same but will probably intensify once the Trials get closer. Grover transferred over to Boulder Creek and has been swimming for the Jags for one season. Scott Newell, head swim coach at Boulder Creek, says he saw the potential in her of possibly becoming an Olympian once she got in the water.

“You could tell right away that we were lucky to have her join our team and school,” Newell said. “She is just a natural in the water and good in all the strokes. She is a nice and valuable addition to the team.”

Grover won the 50 freestyle and placed second in the 100 breaststroke at the high school state championships. At the sectional meet in Austin, Texas, she finished the exact same.

When Grover returned to school after qualifying for the Trials, she was surprised by all the attention she was getting.

“The second day I came back, the whole school found out,” Grover said. “I was confused, because I only told two teachers. I guess at our next assembly they are going to announce me.”

Reese is happy to see Grover’s dreams coming true and always knew she could achieve them.

“She set this goal [qualifying for the trials] a year ago and now she can say she achieved it,” Reese said. “It just makes me so happy for her. It’s thrilling and humbling. It just boosts her belief that she can keep doing this.”

Grover currently trains at Scottsdale Aquatic Club and has three more swim meets to try to qualify for other events, where she is only off by five tenths in the 50 freestyle.

“I am just excited to go out there and learn, gain experience and try my best, and see what happens from there,” Grover said about what she is hoping to accomplish at the Olympic Trials.

The Olympic Trials will take place on June 26 and go through July 3 in Omaha, Nebraska.