At least that’s what she says.
“I was about 1 or 2,” Postoll said when asked how early she started swimming. “I just liked being in the water. It’s what mom and dad did, and it’s what (older sister) Melissa did. I just fell in love with the sport.”
Now the state’s top distance swimmer, the Kennesaw Mountain sophomore must have been one of those who loved swimming for long periods of time before it was time to towel off. Not only does Postoll love it, she’s dedicated, having said earlier this season that one of her ambitions is to make the 2016 Olympic team.
Postoll’s contributions the last two seasons, along with the help of her teammates and a talented diving corps, propelled Kennesaw State to top 10-status in the state’s highest classification.
This season was Postoll’s best performance yet. She notched her first two individual state titles in last month’s Class AAAAAA meet, winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. She also anchored the 400 freestyle relay team that won state for the second straight year.
Postoll’s efforts placed Kennesaw Mountain sixth overall, and she is the 2012-13 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Swimmer of the Year for her efforts.
“I think, overall, we did a fantastic job and had a lot of good swims,” Postoll said of the season. We had good swims in the (relay) with Maggie Layde and I think we did really well. The state meet was a great way to finish my high school season and is a good checkpoint for the year-round season.”
Over the years, as Postoll developed into a tenacious distance swimmer, she kept building her endurance while spending countless hours doing sprints in the water. She said her success in distance races has much to do with how well she sprints at the start and finish of races and how good her endurance is in between.
“She doesn’t let anybody dictate how she races. She dictates the race,” Kennesaw Mountain coach David Reason said. “She’s like, ‘This is how I’m going to swim it. If you want to beat me, you have to swim it my way.’ Where distance kids build their races a little faster as they go along, Rebecca starts quick and stays at that pace.”
From a spectator’s perspective, it looked as if Postoll may had started out too quick in the 200 freestyle, where she led by a considerable length for most of the race. In the final 50 yards of the race, it looked as if her chief rival, Brookwood’s Rachel Muller, was picking up steam quickly as Postoll tired.
Postoll, however, still had enough left to win the race in 1 minute, 47.65 seconds, with just behind at 1:47.84.
When Postoll was asked about the race, she said she didn’t start out too fast.
“I knew it would be a close race, but I was confident,” she said. “If anything, I started out too slow.”
Postoll made sure that wasn’t the case in the 500 freestyle, where she went up against Muller a second time.
This time, Postoll sprinted most of the first 100 yards to build a comfortable lead. Even though she knew Muller was going to gain up on her after the 350-yard mark, Postoll said she countered well and was confident she would win. She ended up doing so in 4:53.29, and Muller was right there at 4:53.78.
“I was pretty confident,” Reason said of watching both races. “She works so hard to get out, and she has a strong desire to finish what she starts. Even if Rachel would have pulled even with Rebecca, I think Rebecca would have found that extra gear.”
With Postoll anchoring the 400 freestyle relay team that included her sister, Melissa, Layde and Savannah Long at the end of the meet, the quartet won it in 3:29.98 over Johns Creek and Lambert. Reason said it wasn’t Postoll’s competitive nature to give up the lead her teammates built.
“Once Rebecca dove into that water, even if she was swimming side-by-side (with the competition), she was not going to let herself get caught,” Reason said. “That’s what a special athlete she is.”