SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – The Sioux City Metros girls swimming team is comprised of 9 different schools around the Siouxland area, ranging from Sioux City West to Sioux Center. Bishop Heelan’s Natalie Patee has been making the quite a splash for the program in her sophomore season.
“I have a lot of big goals,” Bishop Heelan sophomore Natalie Patee said.
Starting swimming lessons at age one to joining her first swim club at age six, Patee is making waves in the water.
“I train outside of the pool as well, lifting and running and all that stuff,” Natalie Patee said. “The training never really stops I train all year round. The success just follows I guess.”
There’s been a lot of it for the Crusader. Setting pool records while shattering a 23-year team record in the 200 individual medley, Patee has punched her ticket to State in five individual events: 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Progress her coaches have seen take shape over the years.
“I’ve been watching Natalie swim for a very long time since she was little in club so it’s been fun to watch her grow into the swimmer that she is today,” Sioux City Metro girls swimming head coach Molly Hegarty. “She is phenomenal when it comes to setting her mind to something and getting after it.”
But the pool isn’t new to Patee. In fact, it runs in the family. Her brother Britton swims for the Sioux City Spartans while her father Dan swam at the University of Wisconsin, who’s now in his second year as assistant coach for the Metro team.
“I guess I just looked up to both of them and it became something that I got addicted to,” Natalie Patee said.
“She’s really worked hard in the offseason this year,” Sioux City Metro girls swimming assistant coach Dan Patee said. “She’s spent a lot of time in the weight room and it’s fun to see her succeed and find the challenge in this sport and rise to it.”
With each goal she’s, met a new one is set. One of them being a chance to swim at the Division One level. Excited for the future but putting a high price on staying present towards a shot at the program’s first individual State title in 21 years.
“I just try to clear my mind a lot, just put everything else away and try to focus on where I am in the moment and know that my training is going to pay off,” Natalie Patee said.
“She’s pushed everyone and she’s really made a name for us,” Bishop Heelan junior Grace Aesoph said. “It helps us realize that we’re not just some small team and we can actually be big.”
Embracing and elevating those around her for strong swims and more team qualifiers. All building into regionals and State next month.
“She’s a leader in the pool and out of the pool,” Hegarty said. “At such a young age, it’s pretty great.”
“I’m really excited with how this season is going and I’m excited to see where it goes,” Natalie Patee said.
The Sioux City Metro team is set to compete at the IGHSAU swimming regionals in Ames on Nov. 4th. The State tournament begins on Nov. 10th.