By Nugesse Ghebrendrias
Of the News-Times
NEWPORT — On Nov. 17, on the campus of Oregon State University, Oregon Swimming’s Top Five Awards Ceremony was held to honor some of the best swimming performances during the 2018-19 season.
Newport middle school student and USA Swimming/Newport Swim Team Club member Lucy Reinhart, 12, was honored for two swims she had during the prior season.
Reinhart, a member of the Newport Swim Team and USA Swimming for the past six years, was recognized for her time in the Girls 11-12-year-old divisions for her fourth place 800-meter freestyle with a time of 10:33.51, and her third-place finish in the 1500m freestyle with a time of 19:53.37.
Both times were swam at the Oregon Swimming Long Course State Championships back in July at Mt. Hood Community College.
“She is particularly proud of these two Top-Five times because they were swimming in a long course, 50-meter pool, the same as an Olympic race,” Jennifer Reinhart, her mother said.
Those aren’t even all of her recent awards.
Reinhart qualified for the finals in all of the qualifying-prelim rounds. She shaved off time in each of the final events later that evening, winning the 500-yard freestyle gold medal, 100-yard breaststroke silver medal, 200-yard freestyle silver medal, 100-yard freestyle bronze medal and fourth place in the 50-yard breaststroke.
Reinhart then became the fastest 11 year old to compete and finish in the 1650-yard freestyle among 11-14 year olds. She finished in ninth place.
She also qualified for the 1650-yard freestyle (the mile) at the Northwest Age Group Regional (NWAG) Championships in Federal Way, Wash., but couldn’t make the event due to an illness.
“I was crushed because I love swimming the mile,” Reinhart said.
But despite the setback, Reinhart continues on her path of success, setting big goals for the future.
“I’m working extremely hard to swim an A-qualifying time in the 200-yard breaststroke to race the top girls at the state championships in February, and I’m training hard to, once again, qualify for the NWAG Championships in 1650 yard freestyle,” she said.
And to think, it all started with simple swim lessons years ago.
Reinhart is a natural in the water.
“She excelled very quickly. Her feel for the water, especially in the breaststroke, is exciting to watch and came naturally to her. Her ambition and dedication to the sport is unwavering,” her mother said. “She loves the nervousness of competing. Last season she started swimming the mile, the 1650 yard and the 1500 meter, and has found her niche. She is able to get faster and keep tempo on the long distance races.”
And with the work and effort she puts in every week, there is no telling how high Reinhart can reach.