Kingston standout Robey set for states
Tigers’ senior Taylor Robey seeded 18th in 100-yard freestyle event at Ithaca College
Kingston High senior Taylor Robey will close out her scholastic career at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls swimming and diving championships at Ithaca College this weekend.
Preliminaries in the twoday event will be held today, with the championships scheduled for Saturday.
Robey, a captain on this season’s Tigers’ squad, will compete in the 100-yard freestyle, where she is seeded 18th.
“This year, I’m the only one from Kingston. That’s been interesting, but I’ve absolutely loved every second of it,” Robey said speaking by phone, while traveling to Ithaca on Thursday morning.
Robey said her goal is to break her school record of 53.37 seconds she set when she won the 100 free at the Section 9 championships earlier this month. That was more than a second faster than the 54.34 she set in the preliminaries two days earlier to make the state cut.
Setting that record was a goal she’s worked hard all season to reach, Tigers coach Chris Sammons said.
“She wanted to be seeded a lot higher than the past,” Sammons said. “With a full plate of school, and marching band and the practice schedule, she’s a very impressive young lady,”
Sammons said he’s looking forward to seeing Robey compete with the best swimmers in the state.
“She’s more ready than she’s been the past year,” Sammons said. “I’m really exciting looking forward to it.”
Robey is no stranger to states, where she competed each of her four varsity seasons.
As a freshman, she was part of the Tigers’ 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams that
finished eighth and 32nd, respectively. She placed 24th in the 100 freestyle and ninth as part of Kingston’s 200 medley relay as a junior.
Robey competed in the 100 free last year, where she placed 34th.
Robey said she always looks forward to states.
“I love it because I get to spend time with the girls on the other team, instead of competing against each other we’re competing together as a Section 9 team,” Robey said. “I get to see some unbelievable swimmers, and compete against them again.
“To be one of them is crazier.”
While she’s been to states before, Robey admitted she’s still nervous about this weekend.
“Of course you get nervous when you’re competing,” she said. “A state meet is where the difference between 18th and
10th is .10 seconds, but you realize it’s not going to be the end of the world.
“We’re all here to enjoy, and see what we can do.”
As for why she chose the 100 free, she said when she first made varsity she was asked to choose a stroke.
“I always worked on freestyle, and I developed my freestyle,” Robey said.
But she admitted she’s still torn between 50 and 100 yards.
“Fifty is a sprint, but the 100 gives you more time to hunt people,” Robey said.
And Robey must balance her time in the pool with serving as drum major of the Tigers’ marching band.
This meant a summer schedule where she hit the pool from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then stayed at band camp as late as 9 p.m.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge, a lot of people didn’t think I could do it,” she said. “If you want to do it, you’ll find time.”
Then she still has to do
“Academics, as always, come first,” Robey said.
Robey noted this final trip to states will be bittersweet.
“It’s kind of a last hurrah for coach Sammons and I,” she said. “He’s been my coach for six years, so it was nice for it to be just the two of us for the last time.”
Looking ahead, Robey said she hopes to swim in college, but only if doesn’t distract her from her plans to major in music education.
“It’s a pretty busy major,” she noted.
Robey said Syracuse, Nazareth, Ithaca, Fredonia and Potsdam are at the top of her list.
“I couldn’t put any one above another,” Robey said.
Robey said she’s confident about receiving merit-based music scholarships.
She added she wants to go to college in New York because it makes it easier to get her state teacher’s license.
“I want to stay in New
York,” Robey said.
She said she first fell in love with music when she watched the middle school band showcase their instruments.
“I fell in love with the saxophone,” Robey said. “Now I want to do for other kids what my band directors did for me.
“They helped me find my passion.”
And Robey said she learned a lot of valuable life lessons from her time in the pool.
“The greatest thing I’m going to take away from all of my years on the swim team is sometimes what’s best for you isn’t what’s best for the team,” Robey said. “It takes an unbelievable amount of patience.
“It doesn’t matter what your views are, you have to learn to work with others, which is a big part of teaching as well.”
Lastly, Robey thanked Sammons.
“Coach Sammons has been unbelievable. Working as the captain of the team. I couldn’t thank him enough,” Robey said.
Taylor Robey will compete for Kingston in the 100-yard freestyle in this weekend’s state championship meet.