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Petaluma swimmer caps summer with world championships appearance

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma's Riley Scott finished 15th in the 200-meter breaststroke, her one event, and did not make the finals at the world championships in Duabi, the United Arab Emirates. (Courtesy of the Scott family)

Petaluma’s Riley Scott finished 15th in the 200-meter breaststroke and did not make the finals at the world championships in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. (Courtesy of the Scott family)

Back at Petaluma High School after swimming in the world junior championships, Riley Scott can catch her breath following a long, successful season.

“I’m ready for a break but I am excited for the future,” she said.

Swimming at the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai capped a memorable summer for the Petaluma junior.

Training and swimming with Team USA for nearly two weeks in Dubai was a great learning experience for Scott. She finished 15th in the 200-meter breaststroke, her one event, and did not make the finals.

“My swim wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it was still great to race. I was excited since I had waited so long to compete,” Scott said. “I was disappointed that I didn’t make finals, and I wasn’t pleased with my time, but I learned a lot from this unique experience.”

One important lesson was the discipline to prepare for a race following a long gap between races.

“Usually I race a lot during the week, and this was the first time it was one race only, so it’s a much different mindset,” she said.

A month passed from the 2013 U.S. Open Swimming Championships in Irvine and the world junior championships.

Scott’s personal best of 2:31.11 in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. meet is tops for the nation’s junior women this year. She swam a 2:35.42 at the world preliminaries in Dubai.

Training with Team USA — the nation’s top 36 swimmers ages 14 to 18 — and traveling overseas was great fun, Scott said.

“The highlights included cheering and watching amazing swimming, camel riding and the Dubai mall,” she said. “I will remember the different cultures in warm-up warm-down pools. It was so different.”

Missing seven school days meant Scott also completed homework on the road before she returned to classes Tuesday. Scott gets back in the water with the Marin Pirates of Novato in several weeks. In the meantime, she will continue fitness training.

The All-Empire swimmer aims for another strong high school season in the spring and a big summer of national meets.