Photo Credit: Kathy Witkay
As she was exiting an airplane, Kelsey Witkay received a strange text. It read: “What number are we on?”
Walnut Creek Aquabear Head Coach Mike Heaney explains: “In every group, on every team, there will always be one person who is organized and on task, who always knows what’s going at all times. When all others melt down and cannot keep track, including the coaches, there is the go to person who always knows what number we are on and when we should leave. That’s Kelsey Witkay.”
As the story goes, behind the mystery text was a whole team that had lost track of where they were in the set, and so the suggestion was: Let’s ask Kelsey! And so they did…
This week, when Witkay verbally committed to Florida Atlantic University, the coaching staff there knew they were getting a versatile swimmer, and they probably knew they were getting a practice leader, but what they may not have known is they were also getting a swimmer who can raise a team’s spirits even when she isn’t there.
“From the moment I arrived on campus I was instantly taken in. I not only fell in love with the team, but also with the coaches, the school and the beautiful location. I am so excited to start my journey as a Florida Atlantic Owl and to see what new experiences lie ahead!”
In the classroom Witkay is a member of the National Honor Society, and in the pool she is a two time representative of Pacific Swimming as a member of the North American Challenge Cup team. This year, Witkay is the high school team captain of the 2013 North Coast Section champion Carondolet Cougars. Last year, Witkay was a member of the Cougars 4×100 Free Relay that finished 3rd in the inaugural California State Swimming Championships (51.95 split).
Witkay brings nice versatility to FAU. Some of her top short course times include:
50 Free – 24.40
100 Free – 53.18
200 Free – 1:55.26
100 Breast — 1:06.52
200 Breast — 2:25.58
100 Fly – 58.37
200 IM – 2:08.04
Witkay will make an immediate impact for the Owls, as she will be competing for spots on the A sprint freestyle relays. Her versatility in the breaststroke and IM will add depth to those events for FAU. And, if the team ever loses track of where they are in practice, they’ll have a reliable person they can ask.