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Alle-Kiski Valley Athletes of the Week: Kiski Area’s Brenden Brzozowski, Burrell’s Abby Horcicak | TribLIVE.com
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Alle-Kiski Valley Athletes of the Week: Kiski Area’s Brenden Brzozowski, Burrell’s Abby Horcicak

William Whalen
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Burrell’s Abby Horcicak competes in the girls’ 100 yard backstroke at Derry Area High School during the 2019 Westmoreland County Coaches Association Swimming Championship Meet on Saturday, January 26, 2019.
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Kiski Area’s Brenden Brzozowski

Brenden Brzozowski

School: Kiski Area

Class: Senior

Sport: Swimming

Report card: Brzozowski made his last splash at last Saturday’s Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association’s swimming championships. The four-year starter and Edinboro swimming commit finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.37) and the 100 butterfly (54.37). Brzozowski swam anchor in the Cavaliers’ fourth-place 400-freestyle relay (3:31.81). He’s also a member of the Cavaliers Swim Club and Valley Points Family YMCA swim team.

How long have you been swimming competitively?

Since I was 9 years old.

What drew you to the sport?

My brother when he was younger. He started doing swim lessons, so I decided that I’d do it too. He hated and I loved it, so I stayed with it.

How many hours a week do you spend in the pool?

At least 10 hours. We usually do over 6,000 to 7,000 yards per practice, which is a couple of miles.

How did it feel to have competed your last WCCA swimming championships?

It was a little bittersweet because it was the last one. It was nice to see the younger swimmers on my team doing well and showing promise.

What goes through your mind when you’re on the block and waiting for the buzzer to sound?

Usually some sort of song. I always have music playing in my head. One that is of the same tempo that my arms are going to go.

What song do you think of when doing the butterfly?

Sometimes, it’s Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” is another one by Queen.

Which event that you compete in is your favorite?

I’d say it’s between the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Do all of the work at practice, and don’t skip sets because you feel like it.

Who is your favorite swimmer?

I like Michael Phelps because I like watching his butterfly.

How do you get prepared before an event?

I usually just sit there and think about how it’s going to go and what I’m going to do.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to a lot of different music. My parents introduced me to 80s music. I have friends that listen to alternative music.

What do you eat before a swim meet?

The night before, I usually just carb up. The day of (a meet), I find it hard to eat. I force myself to eat some eggs and toast.

What three words best describe you?

Leader. Funny. Optimistic.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Michael Phelps, Freddie Mercury and George Washington.

What is your favorite subject at school?

Math, all the way.

What are you going to study at Edinboro?

Game and virtual world development.

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I do (computer) coding in general. I also march in the band and play the tenor saxophone.

Abby Horcicak

School: Burrell

Class: Senior

Sport: Swimming

Report card: Horcicak sailed through her final trip to the WCCA’s swimming championships this past Saturday. The four-year starter swam anchor and helped deliver a second-place (4:02.49) finish among Class AA schools in the 400-freestyle relay and a fourth-place finish (2:03.43) in the 200-medley relay. Horcicak also turned in a fourth-place performance (26.70) in the 50 freestyle. She is also a member of the Cavalier Swim Club.

How long have you been swimming competitively?

Since I was about 9, around eight years.

What do you like most about the sport?

The main thing is the team collaboration. I like going to different meets and talking to different people.

How many hours a week do you spend in the pool?

Around 10 hours.

How did it feel to have finished your last WCCA swimming championships?

I was kind of sad. I was so excited to go there, and it didn’t dawn on me that it was my last one until my final race.

What goes through your mind when you’re on the block and waiting for the buzzer to sound?

Usually I try and focus on my lane because sometimes I get stuck in my head too much. I try to think of everything else to calm me down and get into my zone.

Which event that you compete in is your favorite?

I would have to say the 100 backstroke.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Don’t be stressed. I always stressed over little things. I always tell myself to relax more and have fun with what I’m doing.

Who is your favorite swimmer?

Probably Missy Franklin. I love her technique and style when she does backstroke. She makes it seem so effortless.

How do you get prepared before an event?

I shake myself out and try and get rid of the jitters.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Any kind. Mostly pop, though.

What do you eat before a swim meet?

It matters how big the swim meet is. If it’s a big swim meet, I’ll carb up the night before.

What three words best describe you?

Determined. Shy. Hardworking.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Paul Walker, Princess Diana, Missy Franklin.

What is your favorite subject at school?

Biology.

What are your plans for after high school?

I’m determined to go to college, and I think I want a career in the medical field.

What is something interesting about you that nobody knows?

I’m a movie fanatic.

What are your top three movies?

The third one would be the “Hunger Games” series, (No. 2) the “Lion King,” and then the top would be “The Other Woman.”