'Taylor is a superb athlete'

Tom Batters
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When asked to say the first word that comes to mind when he hears the name, “Taylor Streid,” Peoria Notre Dame swimming coach Derek Amerman said one word is not enough.

“Tenacious. Talented. Superb athlete. Determined. Under-rated. Easy-going...”

Amerman likes to rave about Streid, a senior who holds the school record in the 100-backstroke and who has a shot at a medal at the state meet next month.

“She’s a very aggressive swimmer. When she sees something she wants, she goes after it,” Amerman said. “She’s worked hard, and she has so much potential to get even better. She is  capable of finishing in the top 12 at State in the 100-back and 100-fly. She is that good.”

Streid qualified for the state meet last year, but did not earn a medal. She said that experience helped her a lot this year.

“Last year, it was so thrilling. There were 2,000 people in the stands. I was ready to go, but I might have been a little nervous,” she said. “This year, if I qualify, I’ll be more relaxed.”

The 100-backstroke is her top event, but she has worked hard on the 100-butterfly, and she is part of a couple relay teams.

“We can get three relay teams to Saturday (the final round at State) this year,” Amerman said. “We’ll have to be perfect, but we have the talent to do it.”

Earlier this season, Streid pulled off a unique feat when she won the 50-freestyle and the 500-freestyle with season best times in both events.

“She’s an under-rated swimmer. I’ve had college coaches call about her, but she still doesn’t get the recognition she deserves,” Amerman said.

Streid said she would like to swim in college next year. She is considering Truman State University, which is where former Notre Dame swimmer Brian Tillis goes to school.

Streid said Amerman and her teammates, especially sophomore Becky Stoughton, helped her become a better swimmer over the past few years. Stoughton and Streid both swim the 100-backstroke and 100-butterfly.

“Becky has helped me a ton. We push each other to get better,” she said. “And Derek is like a second father. We all hate him at times because he works us so hard. But, we all love him, too, because he cares so much about us and he wants us to succeed.”

She said Hannah Freyman, a sophomore at Richwoods who is a state medal contender herself, also helped.

“We’re rivals, but we’re friends,” Streid said. “I know I have to keep up with her. She’s one of the best swimmers around.”

Streid suffers from a bad knee, but she doesn’t let it slow her down. She competes in pole vault in the offseason and she is a cheerleader for the basketball team.

“My knee cap rides up too high,” she said. “It bothers me sometimes, but so far this year it hasn’t acted up. I feel pretty good.”