Former Incline star, state champ, swims the length of Lake Tahoe |

Former Incline star, state champ, swims the length of Lake Tahoe

Cheyanne Neuffer

Kate Rye was a star swimmer for Incline High School. She was a blazing fast sprinter and won four straight freestyle 3A state championships from her freshman through seniors years.

While perfecting her sprinting stroke, Rye, who graduated in 2018 and now attends the University of Nevada, Reno, has had her eyes on Lake Tahoe since she was 10.

On Aug. 11, the 20-year old who has transitioned into triathlons, completed her childhood goal and swam the length of the lake.

“This has been something I have been wanting to do for 10 years,” said Rye who was raised in Incline. “It is one of those things I will never forget.”

Rye said that with everything going on during COVID-19, she figured it would be the best year to finally swim across the lake and have plenty of time to recover afterwards.

Her high school swim coach, Rob Lauri, inspired her to do the swim. Lauri completed the swim as well a few years back and Rye swam with him for his last 2 miles.

Rye made the decision to do the 22.1-mile swim only a week before. Before this swim, her furthest distance was 6 miles.

“Physically I knew I could do it,” she said. “I made sure to never doubt myself even with people who couldn’t comprehend what I was going to do.”

Rye said she believed in herself to complete her swim and did not let others discourage her.

Truckee Tahoe coach Cyrus Crews helped Rye plan and gave her tips on how to attack the swim.

During the swim she said she felt calm, relaxed and never had a ‘freak-out’ moment.

She also said her strong mindset helped her finish the long swim. Along with her positive outlook on the experience, her support was immense. Her close friends and family stayed close to her on boats and kayaks throughout the swim.

Rye started at 5 a.m., at Camp Richardson on the South Shore and ended about 3 p.m., at Ski Beach in Incline Village. Rye said she finished the race with a huge smile and was proud of herself.

“There is just a sense of peace you get while swimming that far of a distance,” she said.

Rye said the last 2-miles were the hardest as the wind increased producing big waves.

She said that even with the struggle of the last stretch, she was so excited and proud.

She said it took more mental than physical strength to complete the swim.

“In your career, sports, and life in general, mental strength is what is going to lead you to your goals,” she said. “If you put your mind to something, you can accomplish it.”

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