Thorsness making a name for herself

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Mustangs' junior, who set school record in 50 free, stands out in both swimming and water polo.

April 26, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

Kellie Thorsness lives with expectations at Costa Mesa High.

There are the expectations Thorsness has for herself, the things she wants to accomplish in her prep water polo and swimming careers.

But, when your two older siblings are two of the more recognizable aquatics stars to come through Costa Mesa, other people have expectations too. Katie Thorsness was a swimming and polo standout at Mesa, leading the girls' water polo team in goals during her senior year of 2003. Kyle Thorsness led Orange County in goals scored as a senior for the Mustangs, before graduating in 2006.

Kellie, a junior at Costa Mesa, feels the expectations. She said she has talked about them with Coach Tim Postiff, who started at Mesa when Katie was a senior.

"People will sometimes compare me to them, but it's like, 'Whatever,'" Kellie Thorsness said. "I mean, I'm my own person. Postiff is always like, 'You're your own person, so don't really care about what people say.'


"Sometimes I'm like, 'I'm not living up to my brother and sister.' He's like, 'No, you're your own person. You're doing fine.'"

Kellie Thorsness is doing more than fine. In the recently completed water polo season she was a first-team All-Orange Coast League and Newport-Mesa Dream Team selection. She scored 88 goals, third in program history. In doing so she bumped her older sister, who scored 70 goals her senior year, down to fourth on that list.

"[Katie] was pretty mad," Kellie said. "She was like, 'You didn't have to rub it in my face.' But she was really happy for me."

Now the youngest Thorsness also is in the record books for swimming.

Kellie Thorsness, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, set the Mesa girls' 50-yard freestyle record March 31 at the Costa Mesa Invitational. She touched in 24.96 seconds, which broke Erin Bayes' school record of 25.01 seconds from 2001.

"When I saw my time, I got really excited," Thorsness said. "I almost cried ... We know their family. My sister knows Erin, and she told her. Erin was really excited that [the record] finally got broken. I definitely felt accomplished."

Thorsness has another of Bayes' records in her sights. Thorsness' season-best of 54.60 in the 100 free, which she swam Wednesday at Laguna Beach, is just 0.32 seconds off Bayes' school record.

The times are fast for Thorsness, who is not a club swimmer. But they are not surprising to Mesa girls' coach Patty Smith.

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