TAMPA, Fla. — Despite qualifying for the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials, Courtney Sherwood is not looking past this week’s NCAA Championship.
A freshman for the University of Tampa, Sherwood has qualified for four events at the NCAAs and has a chance to finish in the top eight, which would make her an All-American.
Fresh off breaking four school records (one of which was her own), at the Sunshine State Conference Championships, the Ottawa-native is squarely focused.
“I haven’t really thought about (Canadian nationals) to be honest. I’ve just been focused on this swimming, going to NCAA’s,” Sherwood said about the Canadian Trials, set for Toronto in early April.
“I tend to not focus on things in the future, just what’s coming next. As soon as this is over I’ll probably start worrying about that.”
Although the 18-year old has put her decision for the trials on the back burner due to academic and Tampa Athletic obligations, she would be grateful to compete for the opportunity to compete at the Canadian trials for a second consecutive year.
“Definitely very excited and really proud to be a part of something like that,” Sherwood said. “I’m going to talk to my coach back home and hopefully I’ll be able to go. Hopefully I would make finals.”
While Sherwood was modest about her chances at the Canadians, scoffing at the idea that she could be in the same conversation as Olympic medallists Penny Oleksiak, or Taylor Ruck.
Spartans head coach Jimi Kiner believes the young 200-yard backstroke champion would excel with the opportunity.
“I think she would do well. She’s got the talent and the work ethic to really do well over there,” said Kiner. “She’s just an incredible kid, and it makes us proud that she’s swimming well and doing well in school.”
In the face of upcoming exams and preparing for the National Championship, Sherwood is not letting the pressure to repeat her State Championship performance affect her confidence.
“I tend to do well under pressure so it’s a good thing when I get nervous. The adrenaline gets me going,” said the freshman. “I just want to stay in a positive mind set and not give up. Just keep happy when swimming and be supportive to my teammates.”