Sports

For Rousell, the best may be still to come

With all the time Madison Rousell spends in the water, one would think the South Kitsap junior would be getting just a tad bored.

“That’s one of the biggest questions that I get asked, ‘Don’t you get bored with it?’” Rousell said. “It’s just something I love to do. I love it so much that I can’t do anything else.”

All of that time and effort has been paying off and looks to continue, as Rousell added her second state swimming title to her collection this year and garnered the Port Orchard Independent’s 2006 South Kitsap Female Athlete of the Year award.

Rousell topped a list of girls that included:

• Caty Lieseke, a mainstay on both the basketball and fastpitch teams;

• Stephanie Davison, who passed up a chance at a third straight state tennis title to qualify for the girl’s golf state tournament;

• Charlotte Duren, who took the tennis mantle over from Davison and qualified for her first state tournament: and,

• Joyce Vaiaga’e, a two-sports star in volleyball and basketball.

Rousell grabbed her second individual swim title by winning the 50-yard freestyle but failed in defending her 100 free title, taking third.

Since that November weekend, Rousell has been planning her future.

“I still think about it,” Rousell said. “And then I think about my last year and swimming this year in high school and I just think about how I want both state titles this year.”

Rousell nabbed her second career title by capturing the 50 free with a personal-best time of 24.01 seconds.

Her time was good enough for All-American consideration and was just .02 seconds away from automatic All-American standing.

But after taking the lead from the start in the 100 free, Rousell made what she called a “couple of bad turns” and ended up finishing third behind Alyssa Manlow and Courtney Eronemo.

Manlow swam an All-American time of 51.97 while Eronemo posted a 52.42. Rousell finished in 53.04 seconds.

“She set herself up right,” South coach Dennis Anderson said. “Not many people can catch her (once she gets out front). This might be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone catch her. But sometimes you have no control over what happens. Sometimes things like that just happen.”

In an effort to help her reach the goal of double-winner, Rousell left the Puget Sound Swim Club and joined the Tacoma Swim Club. There, the soon-to-be-senior said she will get the training she needs to succeed.

“I love it – there’s more people to train with,” Rousell said. “I’m training with people my age with the same goals I have. The workouts are pretty intense, but I love it.”

Rousell said she has already stepped up her intensity since switching clubs and that will do nothing but help her come November at the state meet.

Although she has qualified for state in many other events before and probably will this year as well, Rousell said she will totally concentrate on the 500 and 100 frees. Calling them “her races,” she’s determined to end her high school career a double-winner.

“I want them both,” Rousell said. “Definitely. I’ve already got it planned out. I’m going for both. That’s just how it is.”

But there’s something else the ultra-talented swimmer will have to start dealing with starting this summer – the recruiting barrage.

Rousell said she has already been receiving a lot of attention through the mail but knows the bulk of the phone calls and visits will begin over the summer.

While she would like to attend college in California, she is open to whichever school is the best fit for her.

And she wants to make up her mind rather quickly, hopefully before the swim season kicks into high gear so she can concentrate on more import things.

“I’m really excited about this year,” Rousell said. “I can’t wait.”

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