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Siwy Breaks Team Records at Districts
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent
2016-03-09

Upper Perk's Kirsten Siwy swam in three events at the District I Championship last weekend and placed 7th in the 200 freestyle and 6th in the 100 freestyle, earning her a third trip to the state meet.

Swimmers have personal bests in 18 events and finish in top six

            Kirsten Siwy qualified for states in record-setting fashion at the District I Championships at LaSalle last weekend. The Upper Perkiomen senior will be swimming the 200 Freestyle and 100 Free at Bucknell next weekend.

                Siwy spearheaded an impressive showing by the Tribe's boys and girls squads. In 22 individual swims, the members of the teams set personal bests in 18 of them while finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

                But it was Siwy's performances that were most impressive and resulted in her third trip to states.

                Siwy swam the 200 in 1:55.94, almost a second faster than her own team record and placing her seventh in the meet. Siwy qualified in the 100 in 54.38, finishing sixth.

                For good measure, she set another record leading off the 200 free relay. Her time of 25.11 broke a mark almost two decades old.

                Siwy credited coach Brien Kalnoski for helping her reach new career heights.

                "My coach pushed me this year, much harder than last year."

                When she got up on the blocks to begin her meet, Siwy calmed herself by recalling the hard work that got her to the cusp of states.

                "I thought about every single morning, waking up, jumping in the pool, dryland, all the painful practices. I wanted to make that worth it."

                "She has been a part of four team record-breaking performances during those years," Kalnoski pointed out. "Her commitment to swimming year round and dryland training has proven to pay dividends her senior year."

                Siwy seemed just as excited to talk about the performances of the rest of the team, especially the girls she helped to mentor and nurture over the course of the season.

                Fellow senior Melissa Kilroy dropped almost two seconds to set a personal best in the 100 backstroke (1:05.87).

                Freshman Bailey McCausland did personal bests in the 200 free (2:05.91) and 100 breaststroke (1.11.85) and fellow frosh Maddie Madugno set personal records in the 50 free (26.11) and 100 free (57.45).

                "They were scared freshmen coming in [to the season]," Siwy related. "Didn't really know what to expect, didn't think they were going to make districts at all. Seeing them drop time at districts was very rewarding."

                "She has led by example all three years that I have coached her," Kalnoski noted.  "I know that she has talked with her teammates and given them the benefit of her experiences.  I, and the team, will miss that from her." 

                The closest state qualifier on the boys team was senior Mitch Cairns who could still make it to states in the 500 free if two swimmers scratch from the race. He finished sixth in 5:04.99

                The boys took 12 top-eight finishes with personal bests from Kevin Himmelwright in the 200 free (1:52.53) and 100 back (59.15), Joel Williams in the 100 fly (57.58) and 100 back (59.70), Cameron Junk in the 500 free (5:13.63) and 200 individual medley (2:11.99), Dan Miller in the 200 free (1:58.80) and 100 back (1:02.24) and Kyle Kovalenko in the 200 free (1:55.76) and 100 breast (1:04.68).

                The three boys relays and the two girls relays also swam season best times.

                "We had some amazing races over the course of two days," said Kalnoski.

                But now the focus shifts toward getting Siwy ready for states. During the next week, she will be working on "the little things" like starts and turns and speed work to try and get even faster.

                The goal is to make finals and finish in the top eight to bring home a medal. The Upper Perk senior feels that her times are close to being medal worthy, but Siwy feels she needs to drop some more time to maximize her chances.

                Whatever happens, she has already left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

                "I can imagine that I will point often to the record board and mention her name," said Kalnoski, "and remind the team of what it means to work hard and excel on our swim team." 


 

 

 

 

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