Doctors wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but for Kristy Prelgovisk, sometimes swimming is the antidote.

Prelgovisk, a Messalonskee High School junior, wasn’t feeling especially well before the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A swimming championships.

“I was very, very sick right before that,” Prelgovisk said. “I had a sinus infection. I had strep throat.”

“And she had started antibiotics as well,” Messalonskee coach Sara Rushton said. “So it was hard for her to breathe, and the antibiotics were upsetting her stomach.”

Prelgovisk swam anyway and wound up setting meet records in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

“I had that Sunday to rest and then I took Monday off from practice,” she said. “Whenever I swim, I always feel a lot better.”


Even if she had skipped the KVACs, Prelgovisk would still be the choice for the Morning Sentinel Girls Swimmer of the Year. Among all Class A swimmers, she had times in the top 10 in seven of the eight individual events, and was 11th in the 500 free. At Class A states, she won the 100 breaststroke and finished second in the 200 IM.

“As an overall swimmer, she just got stronger (this season),” Rushton said. “You couldn’t ask for better leadership skills. She also works very hard. If there’s a point that is weak, she will stay in the pool after practice and work to improve that weakness.”

Even last winter, Rushton was thinking about having Prelgovisk swim the 200 IM at states this winter. Rushton said for most swimmers, the breaststroke is their weakest event — partly because its half upper body and half kicking, and partly because swimmers usually get tired in the IM. But Prelgovisk excels in the breaststroke and doesn’t get tired, so she’s a natural candidate for the 200 IM.

“My freshman year, that was one of my weakest strokes,” Prelgovisk said of the breaststroke. “It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t very good. Breaststroke works for me. I love it a lot and it just feels natural.”

After finishing second in the breaststroke as a freshman and sophomore, Prelgovisk won handily this year, beating her closest competition by more than 2 seconds.

“She didn’t get her best time or set a record in that,” Rushton said, “but she didn’t have someone to push her in that event, either.”


“States went pretty well,” Prelgovisk said. “I did well, definitely, for not being tapered yet. Being on taper, you work a little bit more sprints and you do less yardage. I think I did a 1:06 at high school states. This past week I did a 1:04.”

As well-rounded as Prelgovisk is, it’s a little surprising that she holds only two individual school records at Messalonskee — the 100 breastroke and the 200 IM. She’s also a part of two school-record relay teams. Part of the reason she’s not more prominent on the board is her older sister, Lindsey, who is swimming for Bates at the Division III national championships this weekend. Rushton said breaking those records isn’t a driving force for Kristy.

“I don’t think that’s her goal,” Rushton said. “For Kristy, if it happens, it happens. She goes out there to have fun with her swimming. The big meets, she’s focused there. She doesn’t go out and say, ‘I’m going to get the 50 fly tonight.’ She’s not like that.”

Prelgovisk got sick twice over the winter and also had back problems, so she’d like either a more healthy season next winter or to be able to succeed even when she’s sick. This season isn’t quite over, as she’s swimming two events at the New England YMCA championships this weekend, and she’s competing in five events at the YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., in two weeks.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I’m like top 10 or top 20 for all my events, which is really exciting.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243 [email protected] Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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