Local swimmer Gabriela Pierobon-Mays dreaming of big future - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local swimmer Gabriela Pierobon-Mays dreaming of big future

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) --  There's no doubt swimming is a grueling sport, but it's the grind that has Gabriela Pierobon-Mays, of the Waunakee Wave youth swim team, getting back in the pool day after day.

"I fell in love with it right when I started," Gabriela said.

"She's the kind of kid that if she leaves practice and she doesn't feel exhausted, it was like what was the point of being there if I don't leave completely wiped? She certainly possesses a lot of qualities and characteristics at a young age that are far beyond the maturity of normal 12-year old girls and that's kind of what makes her stand out," Waunakee Wave head coach Beth Botsford said

So do her accomplishments. In her age group, Gabriela holds the fastest time in the 50 yard butterfly in the entire country, and she's second in two other events.

Gabriela Pierobon-Mays' national ranking by event:
12 year old girls 200yd backstroke - 3rd
12 year old girls 50yd butterfly - 1st
12 year old girls 100yd butterfly - 2nd
12 year old girls 100yd IM - 2nd

"It's awesome to see, hey I'm getting up there and maybe I can achieve these goals in the end," Gabriela said"

Her times have even surpassed the times of many star swimmers when they were 12.

"She's passed Missy Franklin, she's passed Dana Volmer who was a gold medalist and world record holder. She's passed me, but I'm old," Botsford said.

Her coach Beth Botsford was a two-time gold medalist for Team USA in 1996. As a coach, Botsford has helped Gabriela dream big, which so far has her on the path of achieving big.

"Maybe she wanted to be the best, but she wanted to be the best in the area or the state and we really talked a little more about let's look at it a little broader. You want to have a state record, well what about a national record? And now it's like, did that on to the next thing," Botsford said.

"I want to make it to the Olympics, I want to make it to 2020 and she's like why not 2016? If you don't really have an end goal there really isn't a point to doing it right now so I'm just working toward that," Gabriela said.

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