Editor’s note — This is the fifth of 12 personal profile stories written by McClain High School journalism students about influential people in their lives.
McClain graduate Katie Dettwiller is a familiar face known for her swimming accomplishments, both personally and through coaching. She is a record holder, a former varsity swim coach, and a loving mother to her two daughters. She was a volunteer prior to being the coach and was able to help both the girls and boys swim teams with their confidence, technique and good sportsmanship.
Dettwiller began swimming at a pool near Rocky Fork Lake and was taught how to swim by the lifeguards who happened to be a part of the McClain swim team at that time. Her swimming career started in her childhood and evolved as the years passed.
When Dettwiller was on the McClain swim team, the boys and girls were combined. She said that at one point, she was the only girl on the team. She didn’t know that she had broken the record as a diver in 1981 until after the teams were separated and the girls’ statistics were established as records. Her sister-in-law was the person who told her the exciting news, and she still holds the record (the diving boards have since been removed).
Dettwiller started her swimming career by going to a pool at Rocky Fork Lake every summer, then becoming a lifeguard, a member of the high school swim team, and a member of the underwater rescue and recovery team. She watched her daughters become swimmers on the high school team, and then began volunteering to help the high school swim coaches “and learning with them,” for five years, she said. One day, she found herself becoming a coach, and she led the varsity girls for the next six years.
Dettwiller’s favorite part of being the coach was “getting to know and help the swimmers realize what they are capable of,” but like all coaches, there were challenges. One of the most challenging things she faced as a coach was helping a girl that had no feeling in her legs become successful on the swim team.
Dettwiller’s life has evolved around swimming and has allowed her to make a positive impact on herself and the Hillsboro/Greenfield communities. Currently, she still has her “bill paying job” and watches her grandson every other weekend. A few months ago, she and her husband moved into a new house and are still unpacking.
Dettwiller has two daughters, Megan, 26, and Morgan “Freddie”, 24. In April, a granddaughter will arrive, which she’s excited for.
A lifelong love for swimming has impacted Dettwiller in a positive way.
“The people I’vemet and the friendships I’ve made are invaluable,” she said.