Kirsten Siwy swims the freestyle leg of the girls' 200 medley relay. The team took first in the event.
On Friday the Upper Perk High School swim team started off its season with a bang, as the girls won their first meet at home against Quakertown High School, providing new co-head coaches Kyle Kuser and Brien Kalnoski their first win.
“The team is doing great,” Kalnoski said after reviewing the results of the meet. “The swimmers are working hard at practice and the coaching staff is beginning to see the results of that effort even though it is early in the season.”
The meet ended with a girls’ score of 90-65. The boys were not as fortunate and fell, 92-53. However, a number of Indian swimmers dropped times from last season, and several swimmers already met district-qualifying times.
Although last year’s boys team earned the title of district champions, this season may be a bit different for one key reason – their team consists of only five boys, in comparison to last year’s head count of 19. Other teams may trump Upper Perk in numbers, but with power houses Brandon Umstead, who has set numerous records for the team, Ryan Mercando, and upcoming sophomore Mitchell Cairns, the times are hard to beat. Sophomore Tyler Reed, who just began swimming last year, and freshman Kevin Himmelwright also show promise of for good season.
“On the men’s side, although we lack in numbers we have strong swimmers that I hope to have district and state qualifying times,” Kuser said.
The girls’ team is full of senior swimmers this year, with Kristen Kilroy, Christina Williams, Becca Rose, Danielle Marino and Krysta Rehrig. After losing one senior last year but gaining four new swimmers, the team is expected to have a fulfilling season.
“We have a strong women’s team that has the ability and work ethic to produce a strong district qualifying team,” said Kuser.
Kalnoski, who was assistant coach for Boyertown swimming in previous years, now has his first win as an Upper Perk coach, and looks forward to accomplishing more in future meets.
“I have the opportunity to coach a great group of swimmers,” Kalnoski said.
The team continues to work hard throughout the season, including the usual afterschool practices as well has morning sessions lifting at the YMCA, to drop times and reach more goals as a team.
“It’s still early,” said Kalnoski, “but the hard work that swimmers are putting into their training will be a key ingredient to their success this season.”