The student news site of Kingwood Park High School


The student news site of Kingwood Park High School


The student news site of Kingwood Park High School


Morgen Dozier (12)

How many years have you been swimming?

“I started swimming 12 years ago, but competitively, I started swimming about eight years ago.”

Is this your first time going to State?

“No, this is my fourth time. I was an alternate my freshman year, so I didn’t swim. So I can’t say that I’m a four-time state qualifier, but I can say I’m a three-time state qualifier.”

How did you do at Region?

“I really surprised myself. I was not expecting to go the times that I did. So I swam the 200 medley relay, the 200 IM,  100 fly and then the 400 free relay. So that was what I swam at prelims and then finals. Coach switched me out of the 400 free relay. So I just swam those three events – the 200 medley relay, 200 IM and the 100 fly.”

How did you do in those events?

“I dropped over 10 seconds in two days in the 200 IM, which is practically unheard of for a senior in high school. Normally you lose like maybe two or three seconds per meet; but losing 10 seconds, I really didn’t know what was happening. I was so surprised with myself and even Coach was like, ‘That’s crazy.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know what happened.’ So I had gotten first place prelims and then I had solidified my first place at finals. Then I got fourth place in the 100 fly, and then we got second place in the 200 medley relay.”

Can you describe your experience at region?

“This is the most fun I had in all four years. I think it’s just the group that I went with and then the people that I knew there because I like making friends on other teams, which is it’s really random, but I do. So whenever I see them, I’m like, my gosh, you guys did so good. And then they’ll tell me the same thing. But this year I had so much fun and it was just the energy was completely different from any other year. I think it’s because this is my last year, you know, I have to make it fun. I have to make it count. So I think that was like my mindset going into it.” 

What were your expectations for region?

“I set myself pretty low, I’m not going to lie. I just wanted to get it over with. That was me going into it. It’s my senior year. I just want to get it over with because swimming for 12 years, it’s a lot. It’s almost too much. And I was really feeling it my junior year. I just wanted to quit so bad. But I found my passion for it again after I switched club teams. And I think that was really helpful for me because I had never gone these times, and I never thought I would go these times when I was still on my previous club team.”

What was your initial reaction when you find out you’re going to state?

“So let me recount my two IM cause I finished and I was going crazy in the water. I was smacking the water, I was yelling, I was screaming because when you get number one or two, that means you’re automatically going to state. So getting first was insane because I was only expecting to go second place. In my head. I was just like, ‘you can slow down, you don’t have to go that fast,  just get your second place.’ But I don’t know, my friend’s mom, she’s like, ‘you have to swim hungry. You have to swim desperately.’ And that’s what I did I think. So I swam desperate. And then I got to the pool and I was just crying. I was on my knees. I was crying so hard because I was like, This is the first event I’ve ever gone that I’ve made state individually. Normally I’m on relays and not swimming individually, but this was the first time and I just proved to myself that I can do it and I’m capable of doing it, and I did it.”

How are you preparing for state? 

“I’m not happy about it, but I have to eat healthy. Normally, I love stuffing my face with pizza and stuff, but I can’t. So for these next two weeks, I have to eat healthy, and then I have to stay off my feet a lot, and I have to rest. And that’s how I’m preparing. I’m not happy about it, but I have to do it.”

When is state? Where?

“23rd and 24th, we leave on Thursday. So next Thursday we leave. It’s the UT pool in Austin. It’s like the Joe and Jamail Swim Center, something like that.”

This being your final year, what does going to State mean for you?

“It means so much. Really. This is like I said, it’s my first year going in an individual event, which last year I was just about like 2/10 of a second off of going in an individual. And I was so frustrated and I was so angry. So when I came back this year, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and I just wanted to shove it in people’s faces like, ‘yeah, I made it in an individual event.’ But I just wanted to show that I’m capable of doing it. And especially to coach because I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself. But I know he did in me. And I just wanted to make him proud. This is my final year. This is the last year I have with coach Dissinger. So I just wanted to show that I can make him make proud.”

What is your favorite memory from this season?

“I have so many. Probably when I got out of the water for the two IM at region finals. I looked to the side of the pool and I saw all my teammates just going crazy. They’re throwing their hands up, they’re screaming, they’re crying. And then I walked around and they just all hugged me and I was crying so hard I couldn’t move my legs. I was shaking. I was just like, ‘guys, I love you, I love you so much.’ And they’re like, ‘you did so good, you did so good. you’re going to state. you’re going to state.’ And I was like, ‘thanks guys.’”

What has been the hardest part leading up to state?

“Dealing with swimming mentally. Swimming is such a mental and physical sport because you’re always in your head. You’re always, ‘what can I do to get better?’ You’re mostly tearing yourself down and then rebuilding yourself back up again. Because if you have a really, really bad race, it just makes you want to quit. It makes you want to throw in the towel. It makes you want to just absolutely end swimming. I’ve had so many swims where I’ve just been so tired and so done with it. That I just end up crying in my towel and my head is down. That’s the hardest part leading up to this is just wanting to stop swimming because it’s miserable but is also the best thing ever.”

Was there anything else you like to add?

“I’m really proud of this team. I think this is the closest that we’ve ever been. I think we have a great chance of bannering again like we did last year. And like, our slogan is continuing the legacy. And that’s all I want this team to do, is continue being the best that we possibly can be.”

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