Former Neptune making mark for world water quality

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Katie Kearbey is taking a sabbatical from the University of Arkansas Razorbacks as a member of the swim team.

The Nevada native, the daughter of Alan and Julie Kearbey, was a member of the Nevada Neptunes swim club prior to her heading to UA.

She has been swimming since she was 4.

An advocate for clean water worldwide, Kearbey is taking time off from the sport after creating her own organization called Splash of H2Ope.

That effort began during her senior year of high school, with the goal of improving the lives of the people of Haiti through water purification.

Her inspiration for the initiative came from her visit to that country in 2012.

According to a story in "Swimming World" magazine, she saw a disparity in her swimming in a 660,430 galloon pool each day and those of many people in third world countries who didn't have access to a cup of clean water in that same time frame.

The Haiti trip included a visit to one of the more wealthy families in the area, who did have access to bleach for water purification but still had to rely on the mixture for their drinking water.

Upon returning to the U.S., she began her fundraising efforts, which netted $5,000 for water filters during her high school years.

Kearbey, who would still have two years of eligibility remaining as a junior-to-be athletically, has enjoyed a strong career thus far with the Razorbacks.

She closed her sophomore season at the Virginia Tech Invite, placing in several events.

She recorded a fourth-place finish in the 200 butterfly with a season-best time of 2:04.91. She advanced to the B final of the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:25.28. She also swam to a 12th-place finish in the 200 IM. She earned a spot in the A final for the 100 butterfly, swimming a season-best time of 58.23.

Kearbey claimed fourth-place in the 200 breaststroke against Texas A&M with a time of 2:28.79. She took fifth place in the 200 butterfly (2:07.11) at Nebraska and snagged fourth place in the 200 butterfly against Missouri State (2:07.38).

During her freshman year, (2013-14), she recorded a personal best swim in the 100 butterfly (57.35) and 200 butterfly (2:03.00) at the SEC Championships.

She swam a personal best at Arkansas in the 200 IM (2:11.44) and 200 butterfly (2:03.80) at the Mizzou Invitational.

In addition to her time with the Neptunes, she was also a member of Springfield Aquatics and attended the NCSA Junior Nationals. She was the recipient of the Hardest Worker Award.

She has three older sisters, Ali, Becca, and Angela, two older brothers, Kyle and Zack, and a younger sister, Samantha. Kyle was also a college swimmer at Drury University.

Katie attended Glendale High School and was a member of the World Language Club and National Honors Society.

According to the UA swim team website, she is majoring in Spanish and math and plans to be a missionary after college.

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