Cheryl Coudriet enrolled her daughter Madisyn in swimming classes at an early age to combat any fear of water.
Madisyn Coudriet is now drawn to water, competitively swimming for 10 years. The Chesterton junior is taking part as an individual in Friday's state finals for the first time in her prep career.
"It feels amazing," Coudriet said. "I've worked so hard to accomplish this. Now, I have to work even harder."
Coudriet won the 100 free (53.39) and was second in the 50 free (24.37) at last Saturday's Chesterton Sectional. She earned an automatic berth with her victory. She barely missed the state cut in the 50 free (24.29), but received a call-down position a day later.
"I was surprised when I touched the wall (in the 100)," she said. "I was just hoping I had a fast-enough time (in the 50)."
Coudriet was third in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free at last year's sectional. She was fifth in the 50 free as a freshman.
"She came in with a bigger passion and bigger desire," Kinel said of Coudriet. "She really blossomed."
Coudriet has competed in the state finals before. She helped the Trojans finish fifth in the 200 medley relay and 11th in the 200 free relay last season. She'll be swimming legs in those events again this season.
"We've know what she could do in the relays," Kinel said of Coudriet. "I thought she was pretty close in the 50. We knew (last Saturday), that she could pop one off (in the 100)."
"She's got that drive. The thing of her is having that competition, and that gives her the thrill to rise to it. She was definitely ready."
Coudriet has also played soccer for 10 years, and she knew she would have to pick up the practicing pace after completing her junior season on the varsity this past fall.
"It's hard coming off soccer, but I knew I could keep on track through Christmas break," she said. "I just hoped to keep getting faster and lose time in my events."
Older brother Evan plays college soccer at Wabash, but the entire family enjoys watching Madisyn compete in the pool, especially grandfather and Portage resident Frank Komenda.
"He always keeps telling me to make sure to touch the wall first," Madisyn said.
The family now will have a chance to see Coudriet compete both in relay and individual events at the state meet. Coudriet is seeded 21st in the 50 free and 22nd in the 100 free. The top 16 in each event qualify for Saturday's finals.
"This is such a special moment," she said. "I've wanted to get there, and I know I will push myself even harder to achieve my goals."