Kettle Run Swimming Goes To States


Juliana Best, Staff Writer

The Kettle Run High School varsity swim team has had an impressive run this season. They started strong with their determined athletes and not only did they do well at their regular competitions with other school teams, but they also managed to qualify for a few other competitions as well. While their achievements are very impressive, it’s no surprise that the team has placed so high in their meets. Previous KRHS swim teams, and their dedicated coaches, have also accomplished quite a few achievements during their time. Some of the most recent wins displayed in the Kettle Run Gymnasium are from the year 2018. The 2018 team had placed first in three different competitions. The boys’ swim team won the Region 4C and Northwestern Districts, while the girl’s swim team won the Northwestern District as well. 

Though the hard work that all the team members put in has played a large part in their success this season, some of the credit can also be given to the swim coach. And this year, the team did have to face changes in their coaching style. The Kettle Run High School varsity swim team came under new leadership this season. Their new coach, Alex Ciopyk, is also a sophomore history teacher at Kettle Run. Ciopyk brought him a new coaching style, which the team responded well to. According to Leah McEvoy, a senior student on the Varsity swim team, “I really liked coach Ciopyk’s style of coaching because he was really supportive. I liked how he pushed us to be better.”  With the mixed effort of both him and his swimmers, the team made its way to districts, regionals, and then states. In both Districts and Regionals, the boys won first place, and the girls placed second. The real accomplishments, however, happened at the States competition.

States for the 2022 swim season took place at the Christiansburg aquatic center in Christiansburg, Virginia on February 18th.  This was the last competition of the season, and it was clear that the team came to do their best. Though unfortunately, they didn’t place very high up among the other teams, KRHS swim managed to break a Kettle Run record. In the Girls 200 Yard Medley Relay Event, swimmers Emma Craddock, Allegra Craft, Megan Fallin, and Lily Von Herbulis broke the school record. Their final time was 1:53.81, and they scored 22 points in the event. When getting this record-breaking time, the four girls also placed 8th out of the 16 teams participating in the event. Other Kettle Run Athletes who placed in the top five of their events were Jackson Tishler in the 11 Boys 100 Yard Butterfly event and Lily Von Herbulis in the 14 Girls 100 Yard Freestyle event. 

Both teams managed to place in the upper third percentage at the end of the competition. Out of the 29 girls teams that participated in States, the girls’ team placed twelfth with 67 points, and out of the 33 boys teams the KRHS boys team placed tenth with 91 points. Though the team didn’t place as high in States as they did in Districts and Regionals, they didn’t view this as a negative experience. Gemma Flook, a junior at Kettle Run High School and a member of the varsity swim team, said that overall, going to States with her team was a very fun and interesting experience. “It was a team bonding experience. We did really well and I think that came from how supportive we all were of each other” said Flook.