Holstad makes waves despite injury

Grace Holstad flies through the water during her 100-yards butterfly event at a meet this year.

Contributed by Grace Holstad
Grace Holstad flies through the water during her 100-yards butterfly event at a meet this year.

INDEPENDENCE — Last year, Central High School sophomore Grace Holstad had an excellent swim season, smashing school records in the 100-yard butterfly and qualifying for the 2018 5A State Swimming meet for the first time, taking 12th place in the fly, with a time of 1:11.53.

This year is different for Holstad as she battles through an old shoulder injury that’s interfered with her ability to compete.

“My shoulders have been giving me issues for a long time,” Holstad said, “but this year especially. I had to take two weeks off and I couldn’t do my main event, which is the 100 fly, and so that’s obviously a huge setback for me.”

Holstad also competes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events.

To be a strong butterfly swimmer, having strong, healthy shoulders is a must, as that’s where most of the strength comes from.

According to Holstad, who’s been swimming competitively since the third grade, there isn’t much to be done about her shoulders, other than physical therapy and chiropractic massages.

“I’m just going to work through it, I guess,” she said. “If it hurts really, really bad, than I’ll get out (of the pool) but other than that, I just swim through it.”

During their meet against South Albany on Jan. 15, Holstad competed for the first time since December and clinched first place in the 100 fly with a time of 1:03.76.

Her best time for the fly overall is 1:03.26.

Apparently, taking two weeks off from her main event didn’t matter too much.

“I was really excited about that,” she said. “I was not expecting that at all. I even told my coach before that race, ‘I’m trying to get a 1:05,’ because I thought that I was going to be so behind, but I guess not. I was so excited when I got out of the pool and saw that time.”

But it was something she was concerned about during her time off.

“I’ve been worried about it. Going to North Salem and seeing their really good flier, and going to Crescent Valley and seeing their good flier, it would make me eager to get back in the pool because I didn’t want to lose what I had built up. I just wanted to get back in the pool and compete with them.”

With the district meet just around the corner, Holstad is wasting no time in establishing goals for the remainder of the season.

“Definitely getting a personal record, going to state, doing well at districts,” she said, listing them off. “I know there are a couple girls (in league) this year who are really good at butterfly, and I want to compete with them, up to their level. I think it will be fun at districts to see what they bring, and if they’re bringing their best times, because then I know, me being as competitive as I am, I’ll go faster to be at their feet.”

Holstad competed in the 100 butterfly on Tuesday after press time against Corvallis at Osborne Aquatic Center.

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