The next elite swimmer Ella Gaca-Thiele rises to the high ranks of an athlete

Sophie Webb, Social Chair, Social Media Manager

Talented but modest freshman at Fossil Ridge High School, Ella Gaca-Thiele, is swimming her way to the top of young athletes at the school, surrounded by her supportive teammates.

Ella Gaca-Thiele completes the 200 IM, high-fiving her teammate Gracie Thornton. (Jennifer O’Neil)

She feels a large passion for swimming, obtained through her eight years of experience. Gaca-Thiele’s hopes for her athletic journey include going to college and placing in future events. 

She continues her passion by setting her goals high for the future, “I’m going

to try to make the Olympic Trials in the summer,” she explains. 

Gaca-Thiele has currently placed in all possible events as a swimmer for the upcoming state in Girl’s Swim. All events available at state to both swimmers and divers include the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Free, 6 Dives, 11 Dives, 100 Butterfly, 100 Free, 500 Free, 200 Free Relay, 100 Back, 100 Breast, and 400 Free Relay.

Although only able to compete in four events total, two individual races, and two relays, Gaca-Thiele succeeded in placing for all. The average freshman places in one or two. 

Fellow swimmer, Lara Sasarman is excited to witness Gaca-Thiele’s starting journey stating, “She’s the next Lucy Bell.” 

Lucy Bell is currently a freshman swimmer at Stanford University, having competed in the 2021 Olympic Trials and now holds the Colorado state record in the 200 IM, once held by olympian, Missy Franklin. 

Gaca-Thiele’s teammates describe her as incredibly sweet and modest, despite her undeniable talent, cheering those on along the way.

At Fossil, there is a large variety of experience for those who swim for the team. There are those who have been training since a young age and those who barely have any experience in the water.

Gaca-Thiele competing for her club team, FAST, at meet Western Zone Senior Champs. (Jennifer O’Neil)

Gaca-Thiele loves swimming due to the atmosphere and positive reinforcement around her. “It’s really fun to just be there for a couple of hours a day with, like, all my friends,” she exclaims. 

Outside of swimming, she enjoys art along with spending time with those close to her. She cannot wait to continue her career in swimming along with those around her, seeing a professional in the making.