HILLSBORO, Ore. – Kassie Kometani is a senior on the Lewis & Clark women’s swimming team. A three-time All-NWC first team swimmer and team captain, the senior from Hawi, Hawaii currently holds season-best times in the 50 free (25.25) and 100 free (55.66) for the Pioneers.
“The women's swim team has been my family away from home at Lewis & Clark,” says Kometani. “All the laughter, sweat, and tears I've shared with these women has made us a supportive group that I am incredibly thankful for. As their captain, I am so proud of the work they put in everyday both at practice and for their academics.”
Now competing in her senior season, Kometani describes a key moment in her career as the moment her relay team broke the school record in the 4x100 freestyle relay at the 2017 NWC Championships. “We had also edged out another school to medal at 3rd place, and it was just an awesome feeling to accomplish that,” she says. The relay swam a 3:35.10.
“For me, Division III athletics is about the prioritization of your academics over your sport,” says Kometani. While swimming was a huge factor when I was choosing a college, I always keep in mind that I am in school to get a solid education that will prepare me for my future career. That is the most important part, and it is an added bonus that I get to continue competing at the collegiate level.” An environmental studies major, she has been named an All-NWC Scholar-Athlete the last three years.
Kometani notes “a disciplined work ethic and time management” as important skills she has developed through her student-athlete experience. “Swimming is largely an individual sport that depends on the effort you put in directly. Focusing and pushing yourself during each workout is the one of the best ways to ensure the results you want. Our schedules as student-athletes are also extremely packed, so I have learned to manage my time effectively.” Aside from athletics, Kometani is actively involved on campus, serving as co-chair of the Lewis & Clark Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and president of the Pioneer Christian Fellowship, in addition to actively participating in Hawaii Club.
“My parents are easily my greatest role models,” she says. “They worked for the majority of their lives to provide for my sister and I, and that is something I will forever be grateful for. They pushed me to work hard, stay on track, and set high goals for myself. There is no way I could have endured 16 years of competitive swimming without their constant love and support.”
The Pioneers will be back in the water to face Linfield in McMinnville, Ore. on January 11th.
Twitter: @northwestconf | Instagram: @northwestconf | Facebook: /northwestconf