By Renee Forsyth
In her freshman and sophomore years, varsity swimmer Kelly Sego competed in the state championships for girl’s swimming but did not score points. This season was a different story.
At the state championships, Sego was able to place ninth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.25, eighth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.78, and was also lead-off swimmer for the 200-yard medley relay team that finished ninth with a time of 1:45.98.
“I have never gotten this far at the state meet,” Sego said. “These results are super motivating for next year! I was super excited to see how all the hard work I’ve put in this season was finally paying off.”
Since Batavia and Geneva High Schools do not have a pool, West Chicago, Batavia, and Geneva come together to practice and compete, so Coach Nick Parry coaches for both West Chicago, as well as for Batavia and Geneva.
Parry has coached Sego for the past three years and has not only seen her go through high school but has seen her improve on her skills from where she started as a freshman.
“Kelly has done a great job swimming these past three years and has shown tremendous growth each year,” Parry said. “This year was about getting the mental part of being an elite swimmer down to go along with her physical skills. Each year in the past has been a bit of a building process to get her to a spot where she is confident in her abilities and performs well. This year, she started to put it all together during the course of the state meet and really started to see all that hard work pay off for her and our team.”
Sego also said her team played a big role in her success not only this year but in years past.
“To prepare for state, I really focused on having fun and not getting in my head, because that has been my biggest obstacle over the years. Qualifying in two state relays really helped me accomplish this because I got to practice with my teammates, who helped keep my mind off the nerves,” she said.
A few days prior to the state championships, Sego competed in the Upstate Eight Conference swim meet held at West Chicago High School. She placed first in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard medley relay, and the 200-yard individual medley. She also placed second in the 400-yard free relay.
In the high school offseason, Sego is already planning for club swimming and competing in the Winter Juniors in Austin, Texas. Already planning ahead for her future, Sego plans to take her swimming career beyond high school. With her recent scores as well as her future ahead, Sego has the opportunity to attend a number of schools, including Division 1 for swimming.
“I would love to be able to go to a school on a scholarship!” she said. “I’ve already begun the whole process and it can be a little bit intimidating but also a ton of fun.”
Sego is already looking forward to her future swimming career beyond high school, while still being thrilled for competing next year in her senior year and seeing where her love of swimming will take her.