Carbondale swimming prodigy dives into future at UCSB

CRMS senior Amélie Ogilby makes her commitment to UC Santa Barbara official on Wednesday.
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

In the wake of National Signing Day, Carbondale’s own Amélie Ogilby, a senior at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, made headlines as she officially signed to the University of California Santa Barbara’s esteemed swim team on Wednesday. 

Ogilby, already a two-time state champion in the 500 meter freestyle, continues to make waves in the swimming community.

Adding to her accolades with top finishes in various championships, including first in the 400 meter individual medley at the Western Zone Senior Championships this past summer, as well as two first place finishes in the 100 meter breaststroke and 500 meter freestyle at the Southwest Girls Conference Meet in February, Ogilby has proven her dominance in the water.

Born into a family with a rich swimming legacy, Ogilby has swimming in her blood. Her great-grandfather Trahern set a national high school record in the 200-meter freestyle, and her grandfather Chuck advanced to the Olympic Trials. Both her grandmother Meredith and father continued the tradition with collegiate swimming careers. Now, Ogilby is poised to follow in their wake.

“It’s in our family,” Ogilby shared. “It was never pushed on me, but it was another way to connect with my family which has been a really beautiful part of it.”

Ogilby’s choice of UCSB was influenced by more than just athletics. With aspirations to study marine biology, she was drawn to the university’s acclaimed program and the allure of the ocean’s proximity. Her commitment to academics is as strong as her dedication to swimming.

 “I’m really excited to be swimming at a Division I level in college while also being able to pursue an academic career that I am passionate about,” she said.

Her coach at Team Sopris and Glenwood Springs High School, Steve Vanderhoof, observes Ogilby’s exceptional discipline, noting that she’s always the first to arrive for their one-on-one 5:15 a.m. practice sessions. 

“She used to be a normal swimmer,” Vanderhoof said. “When she was about 13, she started setting goals for herself and that’s when she improved dramatically. That’s what has set her apart.”

The recent week has been a whirlwind for Ogilby, marked by her birthday, a senior speech, and the signing of her letter of intent. 

“It’s been a hectic week,” she admitted. “This chapter of my life is coming to a close… All of the special events of my senior year have fallen on this week.”

Growing up on the CRMS campus where her mother, Jennifer, is the dean of students and her father, Kayo, teaches geology and biology, Ogilby has been steeped in the school’s ethos of academic and athletic excellence. CRMS has seen its students sign for college in skiing, kayaking and mountain biking in the past, but Ogilby’s signing day was unprecedented.

The high school swimming season looms on the horizon, but Ogilby has her sights set on higher goals. Having qualified for the TYR Pro Series, she’s edging closer to her goal of competing in the Olympic Team Trials. 

“The goal for this year is to make it to the Olympic Team Trials,” Ogilby said, her eyes set on the prize.

As she prepares for the Junior National Championships in December, the Carbondale community watches with bated breath, cheering on one of their brightest stars as she dives into the next chapter of her swimming career.

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