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Rising Warrior senior sets sights on Olympic Trials, USC in the coming seasons

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Aloha rising senior Kaitlyn Dobler won her second straight Prep Swimmer of the Year award after taking home two more Class 6A state championships.

Kaitlyn Dobler's already eminent swimming career is just getting started.

With a senior season to go at Aloha, Dobler has already dominated and conquered the high school swimming season. She's a multiple-time Class 6A state champion who sports state records times. What comes next, over this year and the next four, lies the incredible intrigue and promise.

Dobler, a senior-to-be at Aloha High and the 2018 recipient of the Oregon Prep Girls Swimmer of the Year award, whom the Oregon Sports Awards' voting panel crowned for the second straight time. Former prep swimming stars Jamie Stone (Centennial, 2016, 2017) and Ellie Thornbrue (Century, 2014, 2015) preceded Dobler as repeat winners. Dobler won the award over finalists Lizzy Cook (Catlin Gabel) and Lily Gardner (Sunset).

Dobler has long dreamed about making the Olympic Games and possesses the work ethic, character and talent to support that drive. One won't find a more humble, team-first athlete in a sport that tends to gravitate the individual. After any interview, accolade, state championship win or Metro League district medal, Dobler is quick to thank her Warrior teammates for their support and encouragement. She's not about the spotlight. She doesn't sing her praises or gloat about her greatness when in reality she has every right to. Dobler would rather you rotate the attention to that of the Aloha community, who she praises for helping her become the swimmer and 4.0 GPA student that she is today. In a time where some athletes get up and transfer at the drop of a hat or dedicate themselves to club swimming solely, Dobler is a breath of fresh air. She represents Aloha to the fullest, proudly donning her Aloha Warrior skull cap at every postseason event during the high school season. Dobler and Aloha head coach Lisa Leslie have become close companions over the seasons, sharing weekly lunches during the school year, both to strategize and simply check in on life. They're each proud of where they come from, where they teach and attend school. Leslie hinted she "sees rings" behind a smiling Dobler standing on a podium someday, a clear indicator of what she believes her star pupil is capable of one day.

Dobler is arguably the most talented prep swimmer the state of Oregon has produced in recent memory and one of several single sport prep award winners competing in his/her respective sport on an international stage. She recently qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke. Leslie says she expects Dobler, who will swim collegiately for USC in 2020, to advance to the semifinals in the 100m breaststroke. Dobler is ranked No. 1 in the country or 16-year-olds in the 100m breaststroke, according to USA Swimming, and took seventh for Team USA in the event at the FINA World Championships in 2018. She is the current Junior National Champion in the 100m breaststroke and made IRONMAN Official's top-25 list of the best 18-year-old athletes in the world earlier this year. Dobler was also tops in the 50m freestyle and 200m breaststroke for her age earlier in 2019 as well. She is ranked as the top overall swimming prospect in Oregon and No. 17 nationally by Aloha head coach Lisa Leslie says seeing Dobler compete for Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is a stretch but thinks she'll shine at the 2024 games in Paris. Dobler balances swimming for Aloha and on the club scene. She blazed to individual titles in the 50-yard freestyle (22.58 seconds) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.98) at the 6A Swimming Championships in February. Dobler had the most NICSA power points (327) of any girls swimmer at the meet. She won six events at the Speedo Champions Series in July 2018 at Mt. Hood Community College. In March, Dobler captured the 100-yard breaststroke title in 1:00.17 at the Speedo Champions Series and advanced to the finals in the 50-yard freestyle (2nd, 22.51 seconds), 100-yard butterfly (4th, 53.86 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (6th, 49.82 seconds) at the meet. Dobler is engaged in the classroom and volunteerism. She maintains a 4.0-grade point average is an officer for Aloha's National Honor Society and a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. Dobler allocates much of her community service toward Oregon Food Bank, Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Aloha Junior Swim. 

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Aloha rising senior Kaitlyn Dobler won her second straight Prep Swimmer of the Year award after taking home two more Class 6A state championships.

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