RALEIGH — Rebecca Rose scored points at Junior Nationals last year and hopes to qualify for Senior Nationals this summer. But thoughts of this kind of success seemed remote when she first took up the sport.
"I never swam before," Rebecca explains. "I got in the water, and I couldn't make it ten yards. I had to get out, and I was miserable because I was the smallest one."
Being the smallest one held Rebecca back at first. One coach told her she wasn't big enough to be successful in swimming. But she learned good stroke techniques and found a coach who believed.
"With all of the athletes, I take them and look at what they bring to the table -- strength -- in her case, leanness, and say 'alright, let's make this an advantage,'" says coach Paul Silver. "The advantage is-- she takes up less space in the water."
Along the way, Rebecca's learned that swimming is about talent, but more about attitude.
"Whoever wants it the most is going to get it," Rebecca admits. "Everybody has the will to win. The ones that win also have the will to prepare."
Earlier this year, Rebecca Rose swam 6,000 yards one morning, and then went out that night and beat a college swimmer-- a NCAA semi-finalist no less.
She's convinced those thought she was too small to swim and herself that her best strokes are still ahead.