The senior co-captain has been a consistently productive swimmer the past few years for the perennially strong Fords. As a junior, he was a PIAA state championship qualifier in the 100 fly (51.37) and 100 back (52.53) and currently has district qualifying times for both events this winter, making him a four-year district qualifier in these two events. He was a first team All-Central League swimmer as a sophomore and junior. “He’s a hard worker and a terrific student-athlete,” said Haverford High School swimming head coach Matt Stewart of the Penn State-bound senior.
Q: What has been the biggest key(s) to your performance in the 100 fly and 100 back?
A: Throughout my swimming career I have put a big emphasis on having good starts and turns. I know I’m not the biggest or the strongest in the pool, so I have to find other ways to make up that speed — for me, that is with my technique.
Q: What aspect of your swimming have you worked on most recently?
A: Most recently I have been working on my endurance so that I can keep up my pace through that final lap.
Q: What has been your favorite memory of Districts (to date) – can you share it with us?
A: My favorite memory came last year when I swam the 100 back. I was in the third heat out of five and wasn’t expecting too much from the race, and I ended up dropping three seconds and qualified for States. When I looked up and saw my time I was in shock and was super excited about it.
Q: What do you think has been your best swim for Haverford High so far this season, and what was the key to your performance in that particular swim?
A: My best swim came in my final dual meet of the season. I came into the meet going about the same times in my 100 fly for the past couple meets and wanted to do better. I went into that race thinking that I had nothing to lose. I gave it my all and ended up dropping almost a second.
Q: How do you view your leadership role as team co-captain, in and out of the pool?
A: While I’m in the pool I work as hard as I can to set an example — that in order to get better, you need to work hard. Outside of the pool, I try to make sure everyone is having fun and showing as much team spirit as possible.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive swimming. Who have been your most valuable swimming mentors, and what were the most important things you learned from each of them?
A: I started swimming at Hilltop Swim Club when I was five years old, following my brother and sister into the sport, and I’ve loved it ever since. My most important mentors would have to be Coach Stewart, as well as my club coaches at LMAC. They have all taught me that, although I may be in pain and working really hard right now, it will all pay off at those big meets at the end of the year.
Q: What swimming accomplishment outside of competing for Haverford High are you most proud of?
A: Winning an elite meet in the summer of 2021 in 18U fly as a 16 year old was a really good feeling.
Q: What is your favorite swimming venue, and why?
A: My favorite pool is at Bucknell University, because that’s where States always is held. I’ve been thinking about swimming at States since I was in middle school, and to finally make it there was so cool.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-meet preparation on the day of a meet.
A: I don’t like to think about my race too much, I just like to hang out with my friends and listen to some hype up songs.
Q: What is your favorite academic course at Haverford High? What do you think you’d like to major in at Penn State? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I would say my favorite class has been AP calculus — I was pretty good at it, I had a fun class, and to top it off, my teacher was Coach Stewart. I plan on majoring in business at Penn State. I know I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps and pursue a career in business, but I’m not sure specifically what.
Fun facts – Kyle Given
Favorite book: “The most recent book I read and liked was The Great Gatsby.”
Favorite author: “Dan Gutman — he helped me to learn how to read.”
Favorite TV show: Naruto.
Favorite movie: Cars.
Favorite athlete: Bryce Harper.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: Family Ties by Baby Keem (feat: Kendrick Lamar)
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite place to visit: “The beach.”
Person I most admire, and why: “I admire my older brother Zach the most because he’s the one that has pushed me that hardest and kept me interested in swimming and made it really fun as well.”
Family members: parents Jason and Jen, older sister Maggie, older brother Zach.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)