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Cairns Leads Tribe Swimmers into District One Meet
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2016-02-17

Upper Perk's Mitch Cairns finished first in the four events in last Thursday's meet against Perkiomen to help the boys team post an 84-73 victory.

        After deciding near the end of his freshman season that sprints didn't suit him, Mitch Cairns participated in the longest race available. Cairns said the 500-yard freestyle suited him.

        "I was able to hold my own," he said. "So I decided to run with it and see where it could go."

        By his sophomore season, Cairns dedicated himself to become a long-distance specialist. In practice, he swims long sets.

        Two seasons later, he has emerged as one the top performers on Upper Perkiomen's swim team. This season, the senior has posted times that would qualify him for the District One Class AA Tournament in 200 free, 500 free, 50 free and 100 free.

        The top 18 qualifiers in each event will compete in the tournament, according to Brien Kalnoski, the school's head swimming coach.

        Cairns' best event is the 500 free, a 20-lap race that requires a high pain threshold.

        "To do well at this, you have to be willing to destroy your body, then build it back up," he said. "You have to let everything hang out."

        On Thursday, Feb. 11, in a non-league meet against Perkiomen School, Cairns avoided the long race. However, he finished first in the four events – including the 200 medley relay, 200 free, 100 free and 200 free relay – to help the boys team post an 84-73 victory.

        Tyler Reed, a senior, captured victories in three events during the meet. Joel Williams, a sophomore, added two first-place victories for the Indians.

        According to Kalnoski, all seven members of the boys team,  which includes junior Kevin Himmelwright, sophomores Cameron Junk and Daniel Miller and freshman Kyle Kovalenko, have posted individual district qualifying times.

        The coach said all three of the team's relays have also district qualifying times.

        Cairns, who qualified for the PIAA Championship meet last season in the 500 free last season, might be the team's top male performer to earn a state medal.

        "Most times I feel like I ran a marathon when I am done," said Cairns, whose longest training session included swimming 2,000 yards in 30 minutes. "The key is finding the perfect rhythm and heartbeat. Every single millisecond counts."

        The quartet of Terence Ting, Eldar Khismatullin, T.J. Csisek and Michael Tsoi posted the only victory for Perkiomen School in 400 free relay.

        In the girls meet, Kirsten Siwy, Melissa Kilroy and Baliey McCausland led Upper Perkiomen to an 84-46 victory.

        Siwy, a senior, posted first-place finishes in the 50 free and the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay for the Indians. Kilroy, her classmate, finished first in the 100 backstroke as well as with the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.

        McCausland, a freshman, finished first in the 200 free as well as the 200 free and medley relays.

        According to the coach, Siwy has posted district qualifying times in the 200 free, 100 free, 200 IM, 100 breast stroke, 50 free, 100 fly, 500 free, and 100 backstroke.

        Kalnoski said Kilroy (200 free and 100 back), freshman Maddie Madugno (50 free and 100 free) and McCausland (200 free and 100 breaststroke) have hit the time in multiple events.

        "We're hoping there is still room to drop their times even more," the coach said. The goal is to get them to peak at districts and swim very fast. The kids have worked unbelievably hard."

        Polly Tolmachenko, Mei Takehana, Jocelyn DuPee, Nicole Dan won the 400 free relay for Perkiomen School.

        Eva Eicheler (200 IM), Jocelyn DuPee (100 butterfly) and Sae-mee Park (100 breaststroke) posted first place individual finishes for the Panthers.


 

 

 

 

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