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Livingstone: In the swim

Canyon swimmer balances workload to rise to the top.

Posted: April 28, 2008 5:40 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Canyon swimmer Kearsten Livingstone is rising to the top.

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Inspiration came early for Kearsten Livingstone, the Canyon High sophomore who has already accomplished so much in her young swimming career.

Livingstone's earliest memories began when she was 18 months old and participated with her mother in "Mommy and me" classes.

"I enrolled in formal swimming lessons when I was 2 years old," she says. "I've had a love for it ever since."

Livingstone, nicknamed K.T. for her middle name Taylor, swiftly moved through the competitive levels for her age and by the time she was 7 years old, she was advised to join the local swim team.

"The next level I was supposed to go to included lifeguard and CPR training and I was too young to learn so I joined the local swim team," Livingstone says.

She joined the Pacific swim team in her native Canada and participated on the non-competitive team for two years.

"I watched the national team practice and hoped to be apart of the team one day." she says.

When she was nine years old, her family moved to Southern California where she was determined to continue swimming.

After living a few months in Orange Country, her family moved to the Santa Clarita Valley where she joined the Canyon's Aquatic Club team and was coached by Jeff Conwell.

Conwell, who has been a coach with Canyon's Aquatic Club for nine years and head coach since 2005, has been Livingstone's coach since she was nine years old.

"For me it's very unique to have an athlete that I have worked with for so long go so far." Conwell said.
Livingstone is already in the record books for Canyon High's swim team setting school records in the 200-yard individual medley (2:09.21) and the 100-yard butterfly (56.85).

"I am very pleased with my accomplishments so far," she says. "I set high goals for myself and that's what keeps me going."

Livingstone, who has been apart of the Cowboys' varsity team since she was a freshman, says she is still adjusting to competing at the high school level.

"I'm trying to balance everything, from club practices to team practicesd and a social life," she says. "This year I know a lot more people on the team everyone has a lot of high energy."

The varsity girls are second to Hart in the Foothill League but Livingstone is confident in her team's ability to remain competitive.

"We have a lot of new comers that contributed and gave Canyon a chance to make a mark for Canyon swim." she says. "The team has a a lot of depth and we have become really close."

Livingstone, who says her social life is centered around swim, has established a lot of friendships with fellow swimmers.

Livingstone's best friend Maggie Hanson is also a swimmer and competes with Livingstone on her club team and Hart High's varsity swim team.

Hanson says that its Livingstone's competitive spirit that pushes her to succeed.

"She works really hard and whenever she sets a goal she reaches it," Hanson says. "She has a lot of confidence but is still very humble."

One may attribute Livingstone's competitiveness to birth order-she is the youngest of five children-but Livingstone says its simply her passion for the sport.

"I have always had a love for the water and swimming," she says. "I make a lot of sacrifices for swimming but its all worth it for me. I couldn't imagine not swimming."

Whether she's waking up before the sun to get to team practice or giving up a chance to attend a high school party, Livingstone is unyielding in her desire to compete at the next level.

"My focus is always one step ahead of me," she says. "I really want to swim for a Division I university and the Olympics is obviously a dream of mine too."

Livingstone will be traveling to Minneapolis this August to compete in the junior nationals which is an event that leads the Olympic trials.

"Just to have an opportunity to be there with people who are the fastest in the world is a dream and a goal of mine." she says.

"I'm really happy with where I am right now," Livingstone says. "The high goals that I set for myself are what keep me going in an upward direction."

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