It’s 4:30 a.m., pitch black outside, and sophomore Mikayla Kempf starts her day.
With only about six or seven hours of sleep, she gets up and goes to MICDS or Westminster High School to begin one of 10 swim practices in the week.
Following the practice, Kempf comes to Webster and clocks in a day of school and another swim practice after. Kempf is part of Webster’s swimming team and the CSP Tideriders, a club team that “coaches athletes to be champions in life through excellence in competitive swimming,” according to its website. Of the CSP training group tiers, Kempf is in the top group, Elite.
In eight grade Kempf joined her first swim team, Tsunami, coached by Webster’s current swimming coach, Dan Broshears. Wanting to pick a sport to commit to, Kempf picked swimming because she enjoyed the summer league with Webster Waves she was a part of sixth grade.
Kempf’s greatest memory is last year, finding out she qualified for State. “I realized all the hard work paid off,” said Kempf. This year, she qualified for State again in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 meter freestyle and the 100 meter backstroke. She plans to swim in the 100 meter freestyle and backstroke.
By the time she’s a senior, Kempf hopes to be one of top three In the state for an event. After high school she wants to go to a Division-1 college to swim.
“Swimming is hard mentally,” said Kempf. “If you want to reach a goal and you fail, it’s disappointing. I like to race, it’s fun because I’m really competitive.”
Before each race, Kempf likes to do a little sabotage to the other racers. “I psych them out, talk to them, ask them if their ready in order to make them nervous,” said Kempf.
Kempf swam at the State meet Feb. 21, at St. Peter’s Rec Plex, placing sixth in 100 freestyle and 14th in 100 backstroke.
“I did really well,” said Kempf after competing for the State title.