Sewickley Academy athlete of the week: Kieran Ragoowansi
School: Sewickley Academy
Claim to fame: Kieran Ragoowansi has at least one thing in common with his favorite swimmer Michael Phelps — they win, a lot.
Ragoowanski’s week included first-place finishes in the 100 freestyle, with a time of 1 minute, 8:69 seconds, and the medley relay, which he anchored. He also earned a WPIAL qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke.
What’s the best thing about being a swimmer?
I’d say it’s the practices. They’re always nice after a school day. They’re fun and work everything out in your body. It’s something I look forward to with kids from Sewickley Academy, and I look forward to seeing kids from Quaker Valley, too.
You have experience against elite competition across Pennsylvania. How will that help you at WPIALs and possibly states?
It helps a lot, because I don’t think I’m scared of the moment. I’ve done it before, so facing better competition has definitely helped me be less nervous and feel more prepared in WPIALs and states.
What’s your favorite event to swim?
I’d say the 100 breaststroke or 200 IM. The breaststroke is my favorite stroke, and it’s the little things you have to do in breaststroke to get a better time. Just practicing those little things allows you to get better. It’s nice to see times decrease. I enjoy 200 IM, because you get to do a little bit of everything.
The 200 medley relay team placed in the top 16 at states last season. How has that group improved this season?
We have two out of the four (swimmers) from last year, so we’ve had to change it up a little bit. There are two sophomores on the relay team now, so we’ve prepared a little bit differently. Andres and I have definitely seen the sophomores rise to the occasion, so I think we can keep improving to get back to states.
You have a fourth coach in four years. How has coach Alexis Glenn contributed to your success?
Coach Alexis done a really good job of bringing the whole boys team together. Since it’s a small group, I think she’s done a good job preparing us and structuring each meet to get the best out of each swimmer.
Who have you always looked up to in swimming?
I think the easy one is Michael Phelps. He’s always done things out of the ordinary. His preparations before big meets is impressive to me. He wins a lot, too.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer.