By: Richard L. Smith
When you cross paths with Kate Hurst in the bustling halls of the Academy of the Holy Angels, you might not immediately peg her as a swimmer of international acclaim.
However, this unassuming junior from Hillsdale holds the prestigious title of a junior world champion.
Before stepping into her senior year, Kate embarked on a remarkable journey to Netanya, Israel.
There, amidst fierce competition, she achieved a feat that many can only dream of – clinching the gold medal in the 1500-meter freestyle at the Junior World Swimming Championships.
Her opponents hailed from across the globe, all within the age bracket of 18 and under.
"Junior Worlds was one of the best experiences of my life," Hurst shared with genuine enthusiasm. "It was an honor to have represented the stars and stripes on an international stage. I could not be happier to have been a part of such an amazing team, and I am so proud that Team USA brought home the win."
The magnitude of her achievement becomes even more apparent when you realize that 648 swimmers representing 93 countries participated in this multi-event competition. Kate's dedication and skill shone brightly amidst this international pool of talent.
Kate also spoke fondly of the camaraderie that comes with her chosen sport. "One of my favorite aspects of swimming is the sense of being part of a team," she explained.
"The people I swim with are some of my closest friends, and I love training and racing with such amazing and motivated athletes. I am excited to continue this experience at the collegiate level next year."
Her swimming journey began at the tender age of seven, and she now hones her skills with Scarlet Aquatics, a prestigious Bergen County-based club.
As Kate Hurst continues to make waves in the world of swimming, her fellow students at the Academy of the Holy Angels are fortunate to witness her inspiring journey towards excellence unfolding.