Two days after wrapping up her junior worlds swimming performance in Israel, Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior Piper Enge received massive news by earning a coveted spot on the 2023-24 U.S. National Team.
USA Swimming announced the 94-member roster on Sept. 12 with Enge and her teammates jumping on board after notching stellar performances in a host of major competitions over the last nine months. Enge, who also competes for the Bellevue Club Swim Team, qualified with one of the top six women’s 100-meter breaststroke national times. She blasted into fifth place with a personal-record mark of 1:07.27.
It’s a dream come true for Enge to splash onto the national team. Excitement reigned supreme when she received the news through an email.
“I knew kind of going into my summer that what the times I needed to put up to make this national team was and I was really pushing towards that goal because, obviously, it’s everyone’s dream to be on the U.S. National Team. To be a part of about 40 of the greatest women in the country right now. So that was just super cool to get that email and realize I had made it,” Enge said.
Enge had just arrived at Mary Wayte Pool to collect her sister from high school practice when she received the golden-ticket email. After calling a friend, Enge ran into the facility to tell an equally thrilled MIHS head coach Chauntelle Johnson.
“The 2023-24 National Team roster truly showcases the depth of American swimming,” said USA Swimming National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko in a press release. “A young group of emerging swimmers will learn from veteran leaders as the athletes prepare for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming and the Olympic Games next summer.”
While representing the U.S., Enge took third in the 50-meter breaststroke, fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke and 12th in the 200-meter breaststroke at the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships from Sept. 4-9 at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel.
She nailed down her national team-qualifying time in Israel.
Enge qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events while swimming for the Bellevue Club at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Mission Viejo’s Marguerite Aquatic Center from May 17-20. The U.S. Olympic Trials will take place from June 15-23, 2024 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In early October, Enge will travel with her MIHS teammates to Wisconsin and Illinois for some top-level competitions.
She laughs when discussing her current schedule: “Right now, I’m taking about a week out of the water, just because training for 12 months straight — bit ready for a break.”
Johnson said that Islanders are lucky to have Enge as part of the MIHS swim and dive program and community.
“Piper has worked hard for this opportunity for many years. Seems like every day, these new accolades just keep rolling in! I know that being named to the national team means a lot — I am really looking forward to the fall MIHS season and what is on the horizon for Piper,” she said.