Dallas native making a splash at UT

Sara Beth Purdy

Laura Sogar is a nationally known swimmer and one of the Longhorns’ best. However, the decision to begin swimming was not one that she made for herself — she credits her parents with that decision.

“My parents chose [swimming] for me so I wouldn’t drown,” Sogar said. “We had a backyard pool and they wanted me to be safe in it.”

Originally born in Dallas, Sogar relocated with her family to Rhode Island where her swimming career began. In high school she was named Rhode Island Female Swimmer of the Year, an NISCA all-American, and in 2008 was named USA Swimming Scholastic all-American. When the time came for her to commit to a college, Sogar returned home to Texas for the high-profile athletic and academic environments.

While many swimmers set records later in the season after many months of productive training, Sogar has already surpassed many expectations. Not only has she broken the school record for the 200-yard breaststroke twice this fall, but she has established herself as one of the top — if not the top — breaststroke swimmers in the country. In addition to it being her best event, the 200-yard breaststroke is also her favorite.

“I like it because I know how to swim it. I know how to race it,” Sogar said, “I can hold my speed at it. You [also] get to breathe every stroke, which is nice. I like to breathe.”

Sogar credits her increase in speed this semester to her growing strength and endurance, in addition to a change she made in her technique over the summer. These changes have proven to be successful as she was named a National Swimmer of the Week in October as a result of her consecutive school records in the 200-yard breaststroke.

“I was able to hold more water up in front,” Sogar said of her new technique. “[Able to] be more streamlined and get through the water easier.”

Despite participating in a physically taxing sport, her competitive nature and great relationships with her fellow teammates keep Sogar swimming. She and her teammates realize that the soreness is a result of improvement and view each grueling practice as preparation for a future competition.

Sogar’s success extends beyond Texas, becoming a contender on the national stage. At the age of 17, Sogar competed against some of the fastest swimmers in the world at the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials. She came in 8th in the prelims and was able to compete in the final round of that competition. Currently she is preparing for the 2012 Olympic trials in hopes of accompanying the U.S. Olympic team to London for the next summer games.

“It’s just a great experience to get used to that kind of competition; that really high profile, really fast [competition],” Sogar said, “It was really overwhelming, but really fun. It prepared me well for competitions after that.”

Sogar is confident that her diligent training will help propel her throughout the next semester and into the NCAA National Championship Meet hosted in Austin next March.

“Laura is just so talented,“ said head coach Kim Brackin. “She has trained really well. She is fit, and she is confident.”