Nov. 28, 2011
CalBears.com chatted with senior Katherine Raatz before second-ranked California heads to Athens, Ga., for the Dec. 2-4 Georgia Fall Invitational. A transfer from Arizona, the freestyler reached her first NCAA Championships and won her first national title last March in her first full season with the Golden Bears.
CalBears.com: How is your senior season going?
Katherine Raatz: It's going really well. I think we have a great freshman class that came in. They're on board with everything that we've been practicing and working on. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do as a team as the season continues on. Our team has elevated and risen to the occasion so many times; because of that we're more confident about where we're at in the season.
CalBears.com: Last season, your first year swimming as a Golden Bear, you reached the NCAA Championships for the first time and of course won the team championship with the Bears. What was that experience like?
KR: It just brings joy to me. We definitely deserved it. As for being part of the Cal team, I know how hard this team works - in and out of the water. I am able to trust my teammates with anything, and they know they can trust me with anything. To say that about a teammate is something I know not a lot of other people on other teams can say. It says a lot about how this team functions and how we hold each other accountable for our actions and how we would do anything for each other.
CalBears.com: What was it like for you to compete with Cal at Arizona last season?
KR: It actually fired me up. It was really exciting to go back because I left on good terms.
CalBears.com: Did you go to many of the Cal football games at AT&T Park this season?
CalBears.com: Besides swimming and diving and football, what other Cal sports have you followed?
KR: Yes. But I'm really excited about the new stadium being built because I've seen the High Performance Center, and it's amazing. I can't wait to get inside the stadium when next year comes around, and just hang out with friends and alumni and see my old teammates again. I'm really looking forward to that.
I've seen baseball, and I'm really happy that they're still around. I love going to basketball games. I really love it, and I'm excited about this season.
CalBears.com: What are your plans after graduation?
KR: I'm not quite sure if I'm going to swim at Olympic Trials at this point, but I have some prerequisites to finish before I start applying to either nursing or physician's assistant's school. I'm going to take the GRE this summer and apply and hopefully start in either program in January 2013.
CalBears.com: Did you participate in any other sports growing up?
KR: I played soccer a little bit. I love sports. I played them not necessarily on a team but recreationally with my brother and with friends.
CalBears.com: Do you have any hobbies?
KR: I'm very active. I love to scoot around Berkeley on my scooter to see what's out there. I love eating at new restaurants. I love rock climbing, meeting new people, trying new thing. I love the City. Now that more and more time has passed with me here, I realize how awesome the City is, being so close to Berkeley.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite TV show?
KR: I used to love "Entourage." It saddens me that it's been cancelled. I love "Friends." I actually don't watch much TV. My all-time favorite shows would probably be "House Hunters" and "House Hunters International." I could probably watch that for hours.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite movie?
KR: "The Fifth Element" is probably my favorite movie.
CalBears.com: Do you have any hidden talents?
KR: I'm pretty good at handstands. I'd never done one before I came to Cal. I've pretty much perfected the handstand.
CalBears.com: Your last name is pronounced "Rates." What are some of the other ways your name has been pronounced through the years?
KR: I've heard Rattaz, Rots, Rotes; pretty much anything that starts with an R.