Fox Chapel’s Zoe Skirboll swims at U.S. national team camp

Saturday, December 7, 2019 | 10:25 AM

Fox Chapel sophomore Zoe Skirboll was one of 48 swimmers from across the country invited to participate in USA Swimming’s Girls National Select Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.

During the four-day event, campers experienced the day-to-day routine of a national team athlete and swam in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s state-of-the-art training facilities.

They learned from top aquatic instructors about post-race recovery, psychological training skills, nutrition and stroke technique.

Skirboll, 15, said she enjoyed meeting everyone and racing against some of the fastest girls in the country.

“Meeting so many amazing girls there (inspires) me to become a national team member,” she said. “I will then get the opportunity to train and meet so many other people and make many more lifelong friends.”

Swimmers were selected from the SWIMS database, using their top time during the qualifying period from September 2018 through August 2019. The three fastest athletes in each event, ranging in age from 14 to 16, were invited.

Skirboll, a member of Racer X Aquatics, was selected in the 100-yard freestyle (56.58 seconds), based on her long-course performance in the Phillips 66 National Championships in July.

Jim Skirboll, coach of Racer X Aquatics, accompanied his daughter and said it was a nice bonding experience.

“(It was) fun for everyone,” he said. “(Zoe) loved it.

“She told me all the girls were friendly. No one had egos (and) everyone got along.”

Zoe Skirboll placed sixth in the women’s 50 long-course freestyle (25.94) in the Speedo Junior National Championships in August. She made the cut for next year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

She does not plan to compete for Fox Chapel this season after breaking meet records in the 200 individual medley (2:00.25) and 100 breaststroke (1:00.96) in the WPIAL Class AAA championship last season.

She was PIAA champion in the 200 individual medley (1:58.75).

“I enjoyed my time with the high school team, but my focus this year is the Olympic Trials,” she said.

Skirboll made a trial cut in the 100 long-course breaststroke (1:10.46).


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