Kuhn proud to represent Bishop Ahr swim team

By JIMMY ALLINDER Correspondent

 Katrina Kuhn of Bishop George Ahr High School is one of the Trojans’ top swimmers, holding five conference records and reaching the NJSIAA Meet of Champions three times. Katrina Kuhn of Bishop George Ahr High School is one of the Trojans’ top swimmers, holding five conference records and reaching the NJSIAA Meet of Champions three times. When swimmer Katrina Kuhn steps up to the block before a race, she freely admits that a raging battle with her nerves begins. However, the senior at Bishop George Ahr High School has rarely let her emotions win out, and she has become one of the top swimmers in the state.

A star on a team of many, Kuhn was one of the Trojans’ best aquatic performers last season. At last year’s Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Championships, she broke records in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke races. She already held meet records in the 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay from 2012.

Kuhn also qualified last season for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions, and she placed second in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 50 freestyle.

For those performances and other noteworthy achievements during the past season, Kuhn was recognized by a number of media outlets as the GMC Swimmer of the Year. “My nerves start to get to me as the beginning of the race approaches,” Kuhn said. “I have a routine I go through, and it helps a lot. I arrive at the starting block fully dressed in my warmups and listening to pump-up music. After I remove my warmups and headphones, I try to talk myself into becoming confident and get ready to swim fast when the buzzer goes off.”

“Katrina’s five conference records and three appearances in the Meet of Champions since she was a freshman speak to her swimming accomplishments,” Bishop Ahr coach Amanda Miller said. “But it is her team spirit and academic success that make Katrina an exceptional athlete.”

Kuhn has been a model student, which will likely enable her to matriculate at a top academic university, where she also plans to swim. However, she is undecided about where she will go and prefers to not name any particular college.

She did speak about the major that most interests her — nutrition.

“Ever since I was very young, I’ve had a thing for all things science,” she said. “Also, because of the level I have achieved in swimming, I have to eat well. I have found that I love researching what foods are best for me and why.”

Miller asserted that Kuhn will succeed in whatever major she pursues, just as she has performed in the pool.

“Katrina juggles her club team responsibilities [as a member of the Somerset Valley YMCA team], being on the high school team, her classwork and service commitments, all with a smile,” her coach said. “When we’re practicing, Katrina provides leadership and guidance to her teammates, many of whom do not swim with club teams.”

Swimming with Somerset Valley YMCA is not just an off-season activity for Kuhn to fill the time when she’s not competing for Bishop Ahr. It is a year-round commitment that challenges her ability to complete her schoolwork and remain involved in other activities.

“I really do not have much down time,” she said. “I try to get a few weeks off in August, which I spend relaxing with my family.” Kuhn said what she loves most is swimming for her high school team.

“Swimming fast with Bishop Ahr written across the side of my cap is one of my favorite things to do,” she said. “I love representing my school while doing what I love, and that has definitely helped me grow as a student-athlete, both in and out of the pool. And much of the inspiration comes from my amazing coaches and teammates.”

Bishop Ahr will enter 2014-15 looking for revenge after losing the GMC girls title to East Brunswick High School last season. The Trojans will field another strong team led by Kuhn, Jessica Schmidt and Alyssa D’Esposito, all seniors who have stood on the podium frequently throughout their careers.

“The upcoming season will be bittersweet,” Miller said. “I have a very talented senior class, and together with their teammates, we expect to have a great season. We’re all looking forward to our road trip to the Meet of Champions at the end of the season, but our final parting at Gloucester will be hard.”