For Bishop Miege junior Cailey Grunhard, competing in college sports at Notre Dame runs in the family

Cailey Grunhard committed to swim at Notre Dame, where her father played football, last week.
Cailey Grunhard committed to swim at Notre Dame, where her father played football, last week.

There were other schools that caught her attention, of course, but none held a place in her heart like the University of Notre Dame. Perhaps that’s not a surprise when your last name is Grunhard.

Last week, Bishop Miege junior Cailey Grunhard verbally committed to swim for the school her father, former Chiefs player Tim Grunhard, and mother Sarah, both attended.

“It’s always been my dream school,” Cailey said. “It’s kind of hard to compete, since we have all these memories of going up there as kids.”

The Mission Hills resident first started swimming competitively as a youngster at Indian Hills. Her talent in the butterfly quickly emerged and she started focusing on sprint events as she got to the high school level. She anticipates she’ll compete primarily in the 50- and 100-yard butterfly at the college level, where she’s logged eye-catching scores this season.

Signing with Notre Dame is the culmination of years of intense training. During the summers, Grunhard would hit the pool at 5 a.m. and put in two hours of practice, often returning in the afternoon for another session.

“Our practices have a lot of short, really fast sprints,” she said.

Though she still has a full school year left in Roeland Park before she heads to South Bend, Grunhard knows she won’t have to look to far for a familiar face when she goes to college. Her eldest brother is a freshman at the school this year.