"Versatile" is the word that Asher Green, the head coach of the Napa Valley Swim Team, uses when he talks about Kelsea Wright.
Wright, who swims with the club’s senior group, can compete in a number of events, including the 200 freestyle, 500 free, 200 backstroke and 200 butterfly.
A senior at New Technology High School in Napa, she can also swim the 100 fly, 100 back and 100 free.
As a member of the swimming and diving team at American Canyon High School, she swims in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay in the springtime for the Wolves.
“She’s got a tremendous work ethic,” Green said during one of the club’s workouts at Napa Valley College last week. “And her commitment to swimming is top-notch. The development of her freestyle and backstroke has been just incredible.
“For years, her real strong events were the middle distance freestyle. Lately, she has been developing a really good backstroke. Her fly is pretty solid.”
Wright, a NVST member for the last five years, signed a national letter-of-intent last week to attend Dixie State University and swim for the Trailblazers. Wright had a signing ceremony at the NVC pool.
Dixie State is an NCAA Division II school in St. George, Utah. The Trailblazers are in the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference.
“I’ve always wanted to swim for a college team,” said Wright, 18, of American Canyon. “It’s been my dream for a really long time.”
She will receive a scholarship to swim for the Dixie State women’s team. Benjamin Rae, the head women’s swimming coach at Dixie State, announced Wright’s signing on the school’s website.
“We are so excited to have Kelsea join our program – she will be an instant contributor for our team both in dual meets and in progressing towards placing athletes at the NCAA championship meet,” Rae said. “As a new program, we are looking for athletes that can define the future of our program and we believe that is the kind of athlete that Kelsea can be for our team.”
Dixie State is in its second season of NCAA competition, according its website.
Wright is a year-round swimmer for the NVST and trains six days a week.
“I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Green. “For her to earn this scholarship, especially coming from where she started, to now being one of our top swimmers, and she is going to go contribute to a collegiate program, I’m exceptionally proud of her.”
Wright won six events in the girls 17-18 group – 200 free, 500 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly, 200 IM – for the NVST as it hosted a CBA+ short course swim meet Nov. 11-12 at Vintage High School.
She won the 50 free in 15-and-over girls and swam on the NVST’s winning 13-and-over girls 200 free relay team as the club opened its short course season by placing second in the Zone 3 Championships July 29-30 at Vintage.
“Kelsea has got a very high level of self-discipline and self-motivation,” said Green. “She is maintaining a legacy that we have, a tradition that we have, of sending kids on to swim at college, if they wish to.”
Wright was sixth in the 17-18 girls 200 free and eighth in the 400 free while also swimming the 100 free at the Far Western Long Course Championships July 27-30 in Concord.
She also swam at the Los Angeles Invitational earlier in the year.
She is entered in the 69th annual Husky Invitational, an indoor meet which takes place Dec. 1-3 at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.
“It’s a mix of club swimming and college swimming,” said Green. “It’s a great experience for our kids to swim against a wide range of athletes.”
Wright said swimming has taught her discipline and determination.
“I like that it’s competitive; I’m a competitive person,” she said. “I like racing. I like the team atmosphere.”
Last June, Wright was second in the 200 free and 100 back, and third in the 100 free and 200 IM in the 17-18 girls group, as the Napa Valley Swim Team hosted a CBA+ long course swim meet at Vintage.
Last May, Wright placed sixth in the 200 free and was 10th in the 500 free at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championships for American Canyon at Tokay High in Lodi.
Wright has a 3.35 GPA and plans to major in nursing.
She is originally from Chandler, Arizona.