Owls swimmer keeps tradition


For The Tribune

Kyle Pfaffenberger said one of the reasons he enjoys swimming the 100 breaststroke at Seymour is because of the tradition of that event at the school.

“My favorite event is the 100-yard breaststroke. Our school has had an Olympic athlete in the 100 breast (Patrick Calhoun), and two All-Americans, Patrick Calhoun and Cameron Chastain, so to carry on that breaststroke legacy has been really cool,” Pfaffenberger said.

“Two mentors in my swimming would be Noah Bullard and Jake Vance. Both swam the 100 breaststroke. Noah was in my brother’s (Levi) class of 2016, and Jake was in the class of 2017. Noah went to state in the 100 breaststroke.”

Pfaffenberger said he enjoyed splashing around the family pool beginning at age five, and he took swimming seriously before his eighth-grade year.

“In eighth grade, my brother was a sophomore, and he started swimming his sophomore year, so I thought I could try it, and I might as well start out,” he said. “I swam that summer and I would say that really gave me a good head start.”

During meets, Pfaffenberger competes in multiple events.

“This year my main events have been the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley,” Pfaffenberger said.

“I usually swim the breaststroke leg on the medley relay, and either the 200 freestyle relay or the 400 freestyle relay. It depends on who we’re going against that night.”

Pfaffenberger said his best time in the breaststroke was the 1:06.02 in the sectional last year.

The Owls missed several days of practice in mid-January because of the weather, and Pfaffenberger said that had a big impact on him and the team.

“For swimming, one day of practice is a big difference,” Pfaffenberger said. “In thinking about that, of any sport in the high school, swimming practice is the most hours and that is not an accident. To be competitive and to have an extra edge you have to practice hours and hours in swimming, both in the water and to get an extra edge, dryland activities like weights and cardio, and running and stuff will help you a lot.”

Pfaffenberger said all practices are important, including those before a meet.

“We’ll usually have a set warmup,” he said. “We’ll usually swim 500 yards straight, a 200 drill, a 200 kick, and then we’ll do 50 sprints, and we’ll do some starts, and maybe some relay finishes.

“I get behind the blocks, and I get in a zone and my friends, Daniel (Hartman), Luke (Turner) and Trevor (Layne) pump me up. For me, it easy to prepare for a relay because on an individual event it’s all you. But I know I’ve got three other guys to back me up on a relay to that’s kind a comforting thing.”

The senior regained his timing and felt good heading into the Hoosier Hills Conference meet, where he placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke and helped the 200 free relay finish fourth, and the 200 medley relay team place sixth.

He said the medley is his favorite relay.

“I’ve enjoyed the physical activity of swimming,” Pfaffenberger said. “I used to be a chunky little kid, but the discipline, the confidence and the drive swimming brought out in me, it’s just one of the best sports you can be in physically, and meeting people and being able to swim under Dave Boggs and Dennis Bowers has been a highlight.

“If you come to swim practice just for the social aspect you’re not going to stay very long. You’re there for one reason, and that’s to be fast. You’re either working hard or you’re not. You have to be pretty serious. To be a competitive swimmer you have to have a good mental attitude.”

Pfaffenberger said he enjoys swimming during the summer at the Shields Park pool.

“Training long course is probably my favorite part of swimming,” he said. “I’m probably a small portion of the swim team that will actually say that. It’s actually longer, 50 meters instead of 25 yards.

“I like training in the Shields Park pool. I think I get faster because it’s more aerobic and it’s longer, and you can do your strokes better.”

The relationships made through swimming will last a lifetime for Pfaffenberger.

“My teammates are my best friends, and I love every single one of them,” Pfaffenberger said. “Everyone’s different, and we have a fun time. Probably my favorite memory this year is getting the honor of being a captain. Another thing swimming has taught me, it has taught me to be a leader, and to lead by example.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Pfaffenberger file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Kyle Pfaffenberger

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Michael Pfaffenberger and Kelly Baute

Siblings: Levi, Hank

Sports: Swimming, four years

Athletics highlights: Sectional finals in 100 breaststroke, 200 individual medley, division swimmer for three years

Organizations: Band, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, chess club, FFA

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUC and major in environmental science

Favorite food: Bowtie pasta and meatballs

Favorite TV show: “Seinfeld”

Favorite musician: Beyoncé

Favorite movie: “The Other Guys”

Favorite team: Minnesota Vikings


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