With just weeks left to prepare for Rio, the U.S. women’s national field hockey team is training harder than ever before.
Some of the team has been familiar with each other well before training, all the way back to middle school.
Kat Sharkey, Kelsey Kolojejchick and Paige Selenski have more in common than being teammates on the U.S.A. women’s national field hockey team. The trio grew up less than 20 miles from one another and will travel nearly 5,000 miles to Rio.
They are training together in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but they’ve been watching each other play field hockey since middle school.
“Kelsey has always been ya know, feisty and really physical. She’s really someone you want to have on your team,” Selenski said.
Facing each other on the field has made each team member stronger.
“Playing against Paige…just learning her skills and her speed. It was a huge threat,” Kolojejchick recalled.
Now they’re back on the same field together again.
“To be back here as teammates again on the national team, it’s really cool to come full circle,” Sharkey said.
Once rivals on the field, now teammates going for gold.
Kat and Kelsey both graduated from Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Paige is a Dallas High School grad. The two schools are just a 20 minutes apart.
Since graduation, each has built up an impressive resume, but they feel their history together is one of their biggest strengths.
“You can find these small little skills that we have. I can kind of know where she is on the field without putting my head up,” Kolojejchick said.
“I think since we all started out our careers together, we all kind of developed as similar players. We all like to play fast and really go forward and put pressure on our opponents,” Sharkey said.
The three intertwined in their search for gold.
“the three of us have kind of been through a long journey together. we’ve kind of stayed close and it’s kind of special to share this journey with them,” Selenski said.
The U.S.A women’s national field hockey team trains six days a week preparing for the summer Olympic games in Rio.