PREP OF THE WEEK: KYLIE VERMEIRE: Tigers’ freestyler determined to place high at state
By Lauren Buekelman
Marshall High School freestyle swimmer Kylie Vermeire is no stranger to competition. As a four-time state qualifier, Vermeire is on her way to another successful season with the Tigers.
“My times for this season are faster now than the beginning of most seasons,” said Vermeire, “My goal is to make it to state again and, hopefully, place (in the) top eight.”
Vermeire has already crossed one goal off her list by qualifying for the MSHSL?state meet by hitting the standard times in the 200 freestyle (1 minute, 58.27 seconds) and the 500 freestyle (5:25.98).
Despite her success, Vermeire continues to push herself in practice to improve her racing style.
“I can usually finish my races hard, I love to race. So, if it’s close, I usually find it somewhere in me to finish hard,” Vermeire said. “But I am really trying to work on my turns, since they definitely need some work.”
Vermeire is also a member of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams where she has stepped in as anchor this season.
“She is a racer, a competitor and she picked up our fourth-place spot in the relays, which is a hard spot to be in,” Marshall head coach Nicole Peterson said. “But she has risen to that occasion and gotten a lot of personal bests.”
Vermeire takes on another challenge this season as the team’s co-captain with senior teammate Sarah Vogl.
“She is one of our captains and she has stepped into that leadership role,” Peterson said. “She takes charge when we need her to.”
Peterson also noted Vermeire’s leadership on the team.
“Kylie is just a fantastic person in a lot of ways, obviously as an excellent swimmer in the water and she is a great role model that way,” Peterson said.
The Tigers are transitioning this season after graduating several swimmers in 2012.
“We had nine seniors that graduated last year. So, its a whole different makeup of our group,” Peterson said.
But Vermeire is hopeful of her new team, consisting of mostly underclassmen, and is happy with how they have adjusted.
“My teammates are awesome,” Vermeire said.”We are like one big happy family.”
The Marshall standout began her swimming career when she was just 7 years old.
“(It was) when my sister starting swimming and my mom would drag me all of her practices,” Kylie said. “I figured if I am going to be here, I better start swimming and I have loved it ever since.”
She credits swimming for teaching her many life lessons that she takes with her beyond the pool.
“Swimming has taught me great work ethic,” Vermeire said. “It has taught me to always try my hardest and to never give up.”
KYLIE VERMEIRE, MARSHALL
– Sport: Swimming
– Year/Position: Junior, freestyle
– Prep Career: 10 years, swimming since age 7
– Most thrilling sports moment: State 2011 Dream Team Relay
– Favorite athlete: Missy Franklin
– Favorite food: Pasta
– Favorite TV show: House Hunters
– Favorite movie: Stick It
– Favorite book: Hunger Games
– Person who has had a huge impact in my life: My coaches
– The best piece of advice I have received: Never give up
– Something I am afraid of: Spiders
– If I could visit any place, it would be: France
– Plans after high school: Swim in college