PROSPER -- The problem with winning a state title in an individual sport as a freshman is that everyone expects you to win three more.
"Oh, that is - I think - a misconception," said Destiny Nelson's coach at Prosper High School, Ryan Timmons. "But it is one thing: when we talked about her swim last year, right before her race I looked at her and said, 'The only way you win four is if you win one now.'"
Nelson won the Class 4A state title in the 100M breast stroke last year.
"I feel like my school expects me to, and I hope to," said Nelson, a sophomore and the favorite to win another title in the breast stroke. "I think I can do it. I hope to."
Nelson and her relay team are heading to Austin this weekend, and Destiny is hoping to win her second title in the 100M breast stroke, as well as the 200M individual medley -- she finished 4th in that event a year ago.
"This was a big year for her," Timmons said. "She came in as a really good athlete, and she made a huge change and put herself in a totally different league."
Prosper High School has plans to build a natatorium, but it doesn't have one yet, and there are no Olympic-size swimming pools anywhere in Prosper. So Destiny does her training in Frisco, McKinney, and The Colony. She said it's about a 20-minute drive to Frisco, 30 minutes to McKinney, and 45 to The Colony.
Swimmers already have early mornings, but the travel makes Destiny's mornings even earlier. She regularly gets up at 5:00 a.m. to train.
"I, personally, always have to have the end goal in mind," Destiny said. "I just have to think when I'm tired and don't want to get up, just push through it, because it will be worth it when you finally get your time, or you win state, or you go to nationals.
"Everything's worth it -- the moment you get your time," she continued.
She and her coach expect their three-and-a-half hour drive to Austin to be worth it too.