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Kastigar Swims at the Olympic Trials



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     One local area swimmer is a step closer to her dream of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic swim team. At the age of 16, she already got her feet wet on the biggest stage, the Olympic Trials.

Hannah Kastigar swam this weekend at the Snowfox Invite and was a high point winner, but she also competed at the U.S Olympic Swimming Trials, as a 16 year-old.

"My mom, when she first found out she wasn't sure if I got it. She had to look down at her paper and then look back up at the board and then she told me I made it and I was really excited and just relieved that I had finally qualified," said Hannah.

Heading to Omaha, Nebraska to comepete with the top swimmers in the country was one step towards her dream.

"I was just excited and it felt great to swim in the pool as all the other Olympians."

Hannah won her heat with a time of 4:56, jumping from 131st place to 61st place.

"It's very exciting of course to have an athlete get to that level. I think just the experience alone for Hannah, but as well as me as a coach getting to that level and being around the best athletes in the United States as well as the top coaches, it was very exciting," Elyce Kastigar, Head Coach of the Aberdeen Swim Club.

It's a unique relationship between Hannah and her head coach because it's also a mother-daughter relationship.

"I think it's great to have her as my mom and my coach because she can be there supporting as a mother and a coach, where some parents don't always get to go watch their kids swim," said Hannah.

"Very proud. Her dad and I are very pleased and happy and proud of what she accomplished. She works very hard," said Elyce.

When asked if she would try to make it to the trials again, Hannah had no other answer than yes. 

"Yes, in 2016 I plan on qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro."

She will have to wait until her third year in college now for the next Olympics.
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