Other Varsity Sports

Getting to know Chesley Kilgore

Trinity Academy junior sewimmer Chesley Kilgore poses at the Wichita Swim Club Wednesday. (April 4, 2012)
Trinity Academy junior sewimmer Chesley Kilgore poses at the Wichita Swim Club Wednesday. (April 4, 2012) The Wichita Eagle

Chesley Kilgore

Trinity Academy swimming

Kilgore, a junior, won the Class 5-1A 50 freestyle and the 100 free as a freshman at Independent. As a sophomore at Trinity, she won the 50 free and was second in the 100 free. Her brother, Christian, swims at Georgetown.

How often are you called Chelsey instead of Chesley?

“When I meet a new person, they pretty much say it wrong, so a couple times a week. I just ignore it. I don’t say anything about it unless it’s something important and it needs to be said properly. Otherwise, it’s ‘oh well.’ It happens all the time.”

How much do you love sprints?

“There’s a lot of adrenaline; it’s why l love it. (I realized I was fast) probably freshman year, probably spring time. I qualified for nationals and then went on to state and performed well.

“Fast to one person is different for the next. What is fast? But I saw that I had a lot of potential. I have an older brother (Christian), who is swimming in college. I saw him progress and I said to myself, ‘I want to get to that level, too.’ I’ve had goals. Fact is, I’m always trying to raise the bar on myself.”

You want to swim in college, so how excited are you for the recruitment process, which can begin July 1 when coaches can first talk to you?

“I’m kind of anxious, excited, nervous. I’m ready. I think it will be exciting to see where I’ll end up going, wherever that will be.”

How much pressure do you put on yourself?

“I put a lot of pressure on myself. I just have that kind of personality. I expect a lot. When I don’t achieve the goals, then I know I’ve got to figure out the process. Where is the disconnect? Where it happened and go and try again and again. And go through good and bad times, even outside sports. It’s been interesting to see how swimming has brought me through things. Swimming is a really good learning, life-skill thing.”

How do you balance swimming for Trinity and swimming for the Wichita Swim Club?

“That is a very good question. This is the first year that dual participation has passed, and I am just now experiencing the whole dual aspect. I had to finish my club season. We’re year-round, but we have seasons. That season ended about a week or two ago, so that’s when I began my high school season. I’m just kind of taking it a day at a time. I’m trying to get the coaching I need from club and the yardage and training. But also to be a really encouraging teammate and to be there for my team and to put the hours in.”

Why do you choose to swim in high school?

“Personally, I think the state atmosphere isn’t something that is duplicated very often, even in the club world. It’s a great time to connect with people from your school and have leadership in that.”