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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

MAST’s Calla Keble sets new standards in the pool

Sophomore breaks record for the 200 Individual Medley

Sophomore Calla Kelble is a Student at MAST Academy and an athlete on the MAST swim team. Recently, she broke the record for the 200 IM at regionals on October 28 which has been a good addition to her story as a swimmer.

Kelble was born in Miami, Florida and she has lived here her whole life; however, her family is from the northern parts of the United States, particularly the Philadelphia area.

She first started swimming due to her parent’s rule that all of their children have to swim competitively for at least a year to ensure that they are proficient swimmers.

“Being the oldest child, I was the first to have to go through the process. At first, I wasn’t overly excited about swimming but as time passed I learned to love it so much more than any of the other sports I had tried in the past. After the year was over I told my parents that I wanted to keep swimming and I haven’t stopped since.” said Kelble in an interview with The Beacon.

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Kelble says she swam competitively when she was seven but, she eventually switched to a different team when she was 10.

Now, she practices three hours a day, six days a week during the school year, and during winter and summer break she practices twice a day, three hours at a time over the weekdays, and on the weekends she just practices one for 3 hours.

“The most I ever practice is during my team’s annual training trip to Hawaii where I practice at least twice a day, seven days a week. (at least six hours a day in total)” she said.

With all that practice she landed the title of MVP her freshman year on the swim team. She has also won or placed in finals for several races and events.

She also appreciates her role models and the people that she looks up to. She first took the time to thank her club coach who is like a father figure to her.

“He knows exactly what needs to be done and how I react to different types of training and sets, and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for him. she said.”

Afterward, she said that she also looks up to Olympic swimmer Lilly King, who has won multiple World Championships, gold medals, and has set World Records in the Breaststroke category which Kelble said was her main stroke. She also said that she admired how she speaks up for what she believes in, for example, she has spoken out about the issue with steroids in swimming several times.

Her swimming career hasn’t been all up though,

“One of the most beautiful things about this sport is the fact that the clock never lies. You always know how well you’re doing and how much better you have gotten, but sometimes that can be devastating. I think it’s a universal experience that all swimmers go through; touching the wall and seeing that you missed a time cut by less than a second, you added time, or someone just out-touched you.” she said.

She goes on to tell a story from her 8th-grade year when she went through an extensive period of time without improving. She even considered switching teams but after a very long talk with her coach, she decided to stay, with a few adjustments that were made to her practice routine and the coaching staff.

“Honestly, looking back, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made, but at the time it was a hard one,” she said.

Lastly, we touched on the topic of pre-race routines/rituals, which she has a lot of.

Before an important meeting, she follows a strict stretching, recovery, water intake, and dietary schedule. She also explains that she never washes her hair the day before because she’s “absolutely terrified” that her swim cap will fall off mid-race.

For multi-day meets she does a 5-10 minute ice bath every night after she races to ensure a quick recovery.

“Right before I race, I jump up and down, stretch, and I actually slap myself, I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually a common practice in the swimming world to get my muscles ready to race.

When asked about going pro for swim she said:

“I don’t think I would necessarily want to go pro but I would love to swim in college for a few reasons. First of which is that I  simply am not ready to stop swimming in three years. Another reason is the family and community built through swimming. My teammates are so supportive and a team can truly feel like a family sometimes and I would love to experience that in a college setting” said Kelble.

She looks forward to her college years for growth in her abilities as well.

“I know I haven’t reached my full potential and I have so much ahead of me and an extra four years of college swimming opens up a myriad of opportunities and possibilities.”


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About the Contributor
Sasha Chernikov
Sasha Chernikov, Staff Writer
Sasha Chernikov is a freshman student excited to write for The Beacon. Chernikov previously attended Ponce de Leon Middle and although MAST Academy is intimidating to her, she is, “happy to be here.” Journalism is interesting to her because she loves informative writing and looks forward to “reinterpreting” stories. She would consider a career in journalism in the future. One thing you can expect from her as a reader is that she will “deliver the truth”, Chernikov says. You can also expect some sports profiles from her as she loves interviewing people and anything athletic.
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