By Dave Merchant firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Chelsea swimmer Katie Leissner has swimming running through her veins. She also competes hard on tennis courts.
“I am mainly a distance swimmer, with the 500 & 200 freestyle being my main events,” Katie said. “This year however, I have extended my repertoire to include the occasional backstroke event as I qualified for states as the backstroke leg of the medley relay.”
She has been swimming on the high school team all 4 years but has been swimming competitively for 12 years. She has also been a member of the high school tennis team all 4 years but has been on the courts since 6th grade.
Her cumulative weighted GPA is 4.19 and she has an unweighted GPA of 3.84.
“I have not yet decided on my plans for college, as I am waiting to hear from a couple more schools, but I plan on attending a 4 year university to pursue studies for a career in physical therapy,” she said.
Favorite class in high school is photography.
“I loved taking photography with Mrs. Naar because she showed me a really cool skill that I didn’t know I had and helped me explore the different ways that I could express my creativity,” she said
Her favorite teacher is Mr. Mitchell. She had him as a teacher for two years and enjoyed every minute in his class. “I always looked forward to hearing all the stories he had to tell and really appreciated the advice that he would give about college that I will definitely keep in mind in the coming years,” she added.
Favorite coach isn’t simple for her. “I’ve had many influential coaches throughout my life that have impacted me in different ways, but when I came into the swim program my freshman year, Dave Jolly was really the person who helped me realize what I could succeed in and why I truly enjoyed swimming,” she said.
Her parents Steve and Beth Leissner were both extremely successful swimmers in college, with her dad still holding multiple records at MSU and being a competitor at the Olympic trials twice. Her younger brother Jack is a freshman this year at CHS and is involved in swimming and water polo.
“Well my dad has put his swimming days far behind him so I can beat him pretty handily, but my mom is still in the pool multiple times during the week so I have to put in a little bit more effort to win against her! In the past I never had to worry about my brother but it seems like every year he just gets faster and faster, so we are neck and neck in a couple events.”
Goals for the future in sports are strong.
“Although I do not plan on continuing my athletic career in college, I am thinking of joining a swim club in college if there is one available,” she said. “I can’t really imagine my future without some form of swimming as it has been a major part of my life since I was little.”
The goals that she has for my future in general is to find a career that she enjoys doing and to make even more lasting connections with people.. Hobbies include listening to music and hanging out with friends.
Advice for younger players to succeed is good.
“My advice for younger players is to find what really makes you happy, because you won’t have the drive to succeed unless you truly enjoy what you are doing,” she added. “Find the things that make you excited and inspired to succeed, and the rest will follow.”
Chelsea girls swim coach Andrew Thomson had this to add on Katie: “Katie has been a part of the Chelsea swim program since she was in elementary school. As a member of our high school team, and selected as a team captain her senior year, she led by example with her spirit and work ethic. Katie would usually be responsible for providing a laugh during a tough workout or a long bus trip. She also helped keep the team on point during our times of inactivity during the 2020 season.”