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Sports Article
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Siwy Preparing to Defend MAC Swimming Titles
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Through arduous effort, Kirsten Siwy expects to defend two individual Middle Atlantic Conference championships in the spring. She says dedication and hard work are a necessity.

Kirsten Siwi

            "It takes a lot of you," said Siwy, a junior swimmer at King's College in Wilkes-Barre. "You have to pace yourself and have a game plan."

            In February, the East Greenville native captured a second gold medal in The 400 Individual Medley and finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a career best time. The Upper Perkiomen graduate has embraced the role as the favorite. Siwy said she is prepared to defeat her rivals in both races at the championship meet in three months.

            "There's going to be a lot of pressure on me," Siwy said. "But I am taking it as a confidence booster. I know I can do the times. I'm just trying to get better."

            According to Monarchs head coach Matt Easterday, Siwy understands the competition, but focuses on the task at hand.

            "We believe there's no one better in the conference," Easterday said. "She works real hard."

            As a freshman, Siwy emerged as a top swimmer in the conference. She qualified for the championship meet in February of 2017 in the 200 breaststroke, the 200 IM and the 400 individual medley. She won the 400 IM with a career-best time of 4 minutes, 39.55 seconds to become the school's second conference champ. She added a second place finish in the 200 breast stroke and a fourth in the 200 IM.

            "People started looking up to me," Siwy said. "I was definitely surprised. I didn't expect anything. I went into the meet with a blank slate."

            At last season's conference championship meet, she competed in the same three events. Siwy tied for first in the 200 with a career-best time 2:24.31, defended her title in the 400 IM and finished third in the 200 IM.

            According to Easterday, Siwy displayed the confidence she has earned in the pool. This season, the swimmer has split her training time between the 200 breaststroke and the 400 IM.

            "I feel like I have enough time for each event," she said.

            The individual medley has become a specialty for Siwy, according to Easterday. He said she displayed the potential necessary to excel in the event as a freshman.

            "When Kirsten got to college, we changed her focus," the coach said. "She has very good technique. She was a very strong swimmer. She had very good coaches growing up."

            Over the weekend, Siwy helped the King's College women finish second in the Diamond City Invitational by winning the 200 breaststroke and finishing second in the 400 IM. She also swam the anchor leg in the victorious 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay, which finished second and broke the meet record.

            Joel Williams, a freshman from Pennsburg, helped the host Monarchs men's team breeze to the overall team title. He competed in the 200 medley relay team that finished third.

            "Joel is doing great," Easterday said. "He's adjusting very well. He's got a great personality and he works really hard in practice. Joel swam very well over the weekend, but is nowhere near where his best times will ultimately be."






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