Those who look to him are Radiant;

Their faces are never covered in shame.

                                 Psalm 34:5

       Katie Nissen Award    


Katie Nissen was a member of GOAL swim team for nearly 10 years.  During the summer of 2013, Katie suffered a sudden illness that took her life. Everyone at GOAL was devastated.  Katie had a radiant spirit.  Her beaming smile and upbeat approach to life brought joy to everyone she encountered.  She was always there to welcome a new swimmer and to be inclusive to everyone.  She was always working hard to improve her times, encouraging teammates to push themselves to be their best.  Her smile alone would brighten your day.  Her efforts in and out of the pool are an inspiration to all of the GOAL family.

The recipient of this award reflects Katie’s radiance in their actions.


The Katie Nissen Award has been proudly presented to:

Brianna McCullough -2014

“She is always smiling and doesn't seem to have a bad thing to say about anyone.  She always arrives to practice early and immediately rushes to help with lane ropes or whatever needs done.  She keeps things positive at practices and meets with her attitude.”

Dana Postuma -2015

“She is always positive and supportive and accepting of anything the coaches are asking her to do.  Her parents are never complaining, they are going to every meet that you asked them to go to, and she was the top attendance swimmer this year at our practices.  She had another near miss at Junior nationals but went willingly and happily to the futures meet at Purdue.  She is getting best times in many events at Futures and swimming fast at finals every night.   She's an extremely positive person and a great role model for our swimmers.  She is quite a bit shyer of a person then Katie Nissen but she reminds me quite a bit of Katie.”

Angela Partusch -2016

"Angela is always quick to give a helping hand and is very friendly.  At meets, it is rare to not see her poolside cheering on her teammates.  All of this while she is giving her all training.  Her effort and dedication to this team inspire others to be better."
"Angela Partusch has a possitive, spirited attitude. Always very kind with something nice to say (I don't mention this casually, she has gone out of her way to compliment myself and others). It has been (and still is) really great to practice with her this summer. D1s was especially fun and I think Angela had a large (if subtle) part in a very positive and excited team spirit. Many things about her remind me a lot of Katie. Angela is a great teammate who spreads positivity simply by being herself. That (I think) is what this award is all about."

Kody Hollingsworth -2017

"Kody is as good of an example as I can think of on our team for someone who is always looking to help and always maintains a positive outlook. He radiates happiness, friendliness, positive outlook, and always wants to be helpful. He has probably rolled more laneropes than anyone in GOAL, maybe even coaches included! He set a goal this summer of making a sectional time and he accomplished that at D1's in the 100 back and the 200 back. Hands down makes us a WAY better team than if he wasn't here."

 Maddie McLeay -2018

"Maddie is always on deck, basically at every practice. But she’s not just “on deck” she’s always lending a helping hand in setting up the pool, in providing demonstrations for drills, and in helping teammates strive to get better. I have never seen Maddie in a bad mood. She is always smiling, determined, and focused on what she needs to do to reach her personal and team goals. Maddie is a great teammate and is always encouraging others to reach their goals as well." 
"Maddie  brings a genuine positivity to every practice. She has a subtle courage that is not overbearing but always there to support herself and her teammates when it is most needed. But what strikes me most about Maddie is her instinctive selflessness. She is always bringing positivity back to those around her in the simple way she acts and speaks. Maddie takes kindness and returns it to others so easily. I am so often inspired by Maddie's bold and honest compassion. What I remember distinctly about Katie was that she gave so much time serving others and made it look easy and fun. Maddie is so similar in this way. It is Maddie's effortless positivity which she so naturally shares with others that reminds me a lot of Katie.   Maddie also has outstanding practice attendance, is focused and persistent during practices, and never lets a bad swim get her down."

 Grace Clark -2019

" Grace daily demonstrates the characteristics that embody GOAL and the award; always a smile on her face, a leader,helpful to other swimmers, and a good ambassador for the club!    Grace is always the one I would pair up a new or visiting swimmer with to help show them the ropes, as she is always extremely friendly in her interactions with others, and always has a genuine smile and an enthusiastic attitude on full display. She seems to really love her team as well."