El Toro junior Kaitlin Sandeno is not a person one should doubt. Her performance at the National Swimming Championships in March is all the proof that's needed.
In a three-day span, she finished third in the 800-meter freestyle, second in the 200 butterfly and won her third consecutive national title in the 400 individual medley. All despite a tender left shoulder.
So when she starts planning her goals for next year, everybody better listen up.
Sandeno, The Times' Orange County girls' swimmer of the year, buried her competition in the 100-yard butterfly at the Southern Section Division I meet last month, coming within .08 of the division record.
Was she satisfied? Not entirely.
"I kind of died the last 25 [yards]," Sandeno said. "I really wanted that one. Next year, hopefully."
Or likely, considering she came close this year without benefit of gearing up her training before the Division I finals.
Sandeno could be excused. She was focusing on bigger competitions this year. She has qualified for the Olympic trials in eight events and has the second-fastest time in the nation in the 200-meter butterfly this year. She will begin training in earnest in July.
Because of her Olympic quest, Sandeno swam for El Toro for only half the season, waiting until after the National Swimming Championships to join the Chargers.
"My [high school] coach was counting the days," Sandeno said.
It was worth the wait.
Just a week after the nationals, Sandeno set two Foothill Swim Games records, both of which were held by Olympic swimmers.
She broke Janet Evans' record in the 500 freestyle. She then broke Amanda Beard's record in the 100 butterfly.
Sandeno already held the meet record in the 200 IM, which she set in 1999.
Sandeno is ranked sixth in the world in the 800-meter freestyle and seventh in the 400 IM. She is ranked third in the United States in both events.
She won the 400 IM at last summer's National Swimming Championships and has the second-fastest 200 butterfly time in the nation this year.
On the high school level, she already holds the Division I 200-yard IM record, which she set in 1999.
The only thing that might have slowed her down was her sore shoulder, but she put those concerns to rest at the Division I finals.
She finished nearly three seconds ahead of the second-place finisher in the 100 butterfly. She made a quick turnaround to win the 500 freestyle, which was held two events later, to give her six individual titles in three seasons.