Kingston stand­out Robey set for states

Tigers’ senior Tay­lor Robey seeded 18th in 100-yard freestyle event at Ithaca Col­lege

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Hu­bert bhu­bert@free­manon­line.com @bri­anat­free­man on Twit­ter

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

her home­work.

“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.

TANIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN FILE

Tay­lor Robey will com­pete for Kingston in the 100-yard freestyle in this week­end’s state cham­pi­onship meet.

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