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Fulshear sophomore Kailey Kennedy
AS A YOUNG CHILD, KAILEY KENNEDY WOULD GO UNDER WATER AND HOLD HER BREATH. IT WAS FUN FOR HER TO SEE HOW LONG SHE COULD LAST.
It wasn’t so enjoyable for her parents.
“My parents would freak out,” Kennedy said. “‘Kailey, it’s time to put you in swim lessons!’ Swimming, holding my breath under water. It all just came naturally to me.”
The water is where the Fulshear sophomore is at her best.
After winning the Region III-5A Championship in the 50-freestyle last year, Kennedy finished 14th in the 50-free at the Class 5A State Meet with a time of 24.95 seconds. She was also part of the Chargers’ 200-yard freestyle relay that finished third to win bronze and the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished sixth.
“She’s always been a super hard worker,” Fulshear swim coach Matt Tomas said. “She sets high goals for herself and knows what it takes to get there. Qualifying for State in an individual event as a freshman is an incredible thing to do.”
This season, Kennedy is upping the stakes. She wants to do better in the 50-free and qualify for State in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Kennedy, who is strong right off the blocks, has trained to focus on not breathing (taking a breath can cost precious seconds in a race) and getting to the wall faster for stronger finishes.
Last year, she primarily trained in sprint sets. This year, she’s training in repetitive, longer sets.
“Going into this year, I think I’ll do a lot better,” Kennedy said. “Last year, it was a shock to me how fast and how big these people were. I was intimidated. This year, I have better training. I’ll be better at finishing my race.”
Kennedy has been swimming for seven years. She didn’t like it at first. “I guess I just didn’t like putting in the physical effort,” she said.
But over time she grew to love it. Kennedy gets a thrill and exhilaration out of racing. And nothing makes her happier than being in the water.
“I hate losing. I love winning,” Kennedy said. “I do this because I love it. There’s no other way to put it.”
BF Terry Swim Team
Last season, Fulshear had the highest finish by a Lamar CISD team in a long while last season when the girls finished seventh at State.
Sophomore Kailey Kennedy is a Charger to keep an eye on. Foster also had a great showing at State, competing in 10 events. Sophomore Lola Trujillo is a Falcon with a bright future ahead of her. George Ranch’s boys and girls 200 freestyle relays qualified for State. Senior Longhorn Reese Voelkel is a Regional Champ in the backstroke. Terry also represented at State.
The bottom line: Lamar CISD was strong in the water in 2021. Expect more of the same in 2022.
Raven Jordan, BF Terry