For The Tribune
Kenzie Persinger said there isn’t any place she would rather be after school, during the winters, than in the swimming pool at Seymour High School.
“Some days I say I go to school to swim,” she said. “Every aspect of practice you have to be working your hardest. If you take one day off it will transfer to the next day and it’s harder.”
Persinger recalled that when she was younger she swam each summer with the Brownstown Braves Wave Swim Club.
“I’ve always really liked to swim,” Persinger said. “Every summer I looked forward to it. I started swimming when I was (very) young. It’s just been a part of my life. My teammates are pretty much my family. I’ve got ‘my group’ and then I’ve got the rest of the team. It’s really nice that I know everyone so well.
“It was about my eighth-grade year that I decided I wanted to swim in high school.”
Her freshman year, Persinger joined the Owls and swam the 100 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley.
This winter Persinger has been concentrating on the 100 free and the 100 breast, and she normally swims in the 200 medley and 200 free relays.
Persinger said her favorite individual event is the 100 breast.
“I really like to do the breaststroke because it is challenging,” Persinger said. “The breaststroke requires so much technique. One little thing can mess you up, but one little thing can make you go faster.”
The senior’s career-best is a 1:09 she swam at sectional last year, and she’s hoping to drop that time to 1:08 this year to beat the school record.
“During the season I like to go 1:15 or 1:16. I’m hoping to get at least a 1:08 this year so I can beat the (school) record.”
The 100 free, 200 free relay and 100 breast all come after the diving break, and Persinger said she doesn’t mind that she does not have as much recovery time between events like some of the other swimmers.
In the 100 free, Persinger’s best time is 54.46.
She said she is looking to the end of January and starting the taper.
“The holiday practices are really long,” Persinger said. “They are 3 1/2 hours, and you can do a lot in (that time). I do like them because they are challenging and I know I’m going to get better during those practices.
“The taper is the highlight of the season. We get to get in the hot tub and drink chocolate milk all the time.”
Persinger said you have to have a positive attitude in any sport you compete in.
“The mental part is extremely important,” she said. “When I go to a meet I have to prepare myself to be able to swim my best. If I tell myself that I’m not going to do well, I won’t do well. You have to be able to believe in yourself before you can do it.
Persinger holds the school record in the 200 IM and has been part of the 200 free and 400 free relay teams that hold school records.
She said her goal at the end of the season is to break more individual records, break the relay records again, and advance to the state meet.
She qualified for the state finals her sophomore year.
“I usually anchor, and when I anchor I know there’s a lot of pressure, but I do thrive on pressure,” Persinger said. “It’s fun to be able to be the last one in the pool and to be able to catch up to the next team.”
Persinger has enjoyed her time at Seymour High School.
“I like how Seymour offers a lot of different classes, and it’s a pretty laid back kind of environment, which is really nice,” Persinger said. “I’ve actually loved every minute of it.”
Name: Kenzie Persinger
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Ron and Peggy Persinger
Sports: Swimming, four yers
Athletics highlights: 200 individual medley, 400 freestyle relay, 200 free relay records
Organizations: National Honor Society, Latin Club
Plans after high school: Attend Ball State
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite TV show: “Fringe” or “The X-Files”
Favorite musicians: Twenty One Pilots or the Eagles
Favorite movie: “Finding Nemo”
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps