5 Questions With a Trials Qualifier: Sadie Buckley

By: Rich House

Sadie is from Fairfax, VA, swims for the Fairfax Frogs in NVSL each summer, The Mason Makos year-round and just completed her freshman year at Fairfax High. Sadie had a breakout Freshman year at Fairfax, winning the 200 & 500 Free at Districts, then at Regionals won the 100 Back and placed 2nd in the 200IM. In her final meet of the year, VHSL Class 6 States, she won the 200 Free and finished 3rd in the 100 back in a very close race, posting best times along the way and was recognized by the Washington Post as a 2nd Team All-Met.
In March, she swam at the NCSA Spring Championships, where the prelims were in yards, and finals in long course meters. In the 200 Backstroke, she qualified 5th in prelims with a best time: 1:55.64 and went on to finals to place 3rd in an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:11.35! This time also broke (smashed) the PVS 13-14 girls 200 Backstroke record that was set by Phoebe Bacon in 2017 (2:15.01). In May (16-19th) Sadie traveled with her MAKO teammates to West Virginia for another opportunity to swim fast & go for Trial cuts. She battled for the top spot in the finals of the 400 IM, finishing just behind West Virginia University’s Caroline Riggs, but touching in an Olympic Trials qualifying time 4:49.79, her 2nd Trials event!

You can watch Sadie compete at Trials starting Sunday, June 16th for the 400 IM Prelims, then Thursday, June 20th for the 200 Backstroke Prelims. Media coverage gets underway on Saturday, June 15, with qualifying heats airing live on Peacock with same day delayed coverage each day on USA Network.

Here’s a few shots from the ISCA Sr. Cup, where Sadie excelled and (in a few events) went head-to-head with fellow Trials qualifier from All Star Aquatics, Virginia Hinds!

Here’s the Questions:

RFTW: Which is more fun- Summer League or High School meets..and why?

SB: I’ve only had one year of high school meets, but I’ve always thought summer league was the most fun.  A lot of my close friends from my club team are on my summer team so we always have fun.  It’s also fun to go against different teams each weekend and the all the fun activities our summer team puts on.

RFTW: What is your favorite hype song/band/artist and favorite chill song/band/artist?

SB: My favorite hype song to listen to is Girls Like You by Maroon 5 and Cardi B; My favorite chill artist to listen to is Zach Bryan.

RFTW: What is your ‘go to’ meal before a meet?

SB: My favorite meal to eat before a meet is Fettucini Chicken Alfredo.

RFTW: What is the best advice you’ve received from a coach?

SB: My club coach Peter Ward always reminds me to focus and most importantly enjoy the process.

RFTW: Who has inspired you in your career (list 2, a swimmer & non-swimmer)?

SB: It’s hard to just choose people who’ve inspired me in swimming, because my swim friends are my very closest friends.  They make the early mornings enjoyable and the meets more fun.  I think we all inspire each other to keep showing up and doing our best. My parents are the non-swimmers who inspire me by their dedication to getting me to early morning practices every day and how they work hard in their own jobs.

RFTW: What advice can you give to current age groupers looking to achieve their goals in swimming?

SB: Swimming is a hard sport and requires dedication and a lot of practices, but the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy it.

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