Girls swim: Louise Kim is one of Shelton’s best
School record holder Louise Kim put together quite an impressive swimming career at Shelton High.
A senior captain, Kim won the 100 freestyle race in the Class LL state championships, finishing in a time of 52.80. She also placed fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 50 freestyle during this season’s State Open.
Kim holds the school record in the 50 freestyle (23.94), as well as the 200 freestyle relay along with Emma Parkes, Caitlin McGuire and Simona Visinski (1:36.99) and the 400 freestyle relay along with Parkes, Alyssa Bretan and Visinski (3:35.03).
“A lot of hard work was definitely required,” Kim said. “Each practice counts, so I had to give my maximum effort to each set I swam. In the past years I often went to double practices — high school practice and club team practice — to build my strength for future meets.”
Her main events are the 50 and the 100 freestyle, but Kim has also has stepped in to swim the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke at times.
“The shortest events are my favorite events. I have really big spurts of energy that help me swim the 50 free and the 100 free,” she said.
Tom Jurzynski, who has coached the girls five seasons and is entering into his sixth with the boys squad this winter, said, “We've had some great talent come through the program on the both the girls and boys side in the past few seasons. Louise is right up there with them and graduates as one of the most accomplished swimmers in team history.”
Keys to Kim’s success are her drive and competitive nature.
“Outside of her work ethic, Louise doesn’t like losing. She has a competitive drive that you can’t teach,” Jurzynski said.
A swimmer throughout the year, Kim competes on the Shelton-Monroe Rapids squad in the offseason.
Jurzynski and Rapids coach Chuck Clark have put a lot into training Kim and gotten quite a bit back in return. “We've both have been rewarded and happy with the results,” Jurzynski said.
Kim’s involvement in swimming started with the Rapids almost a decade ago.
“When I moved to Shelton, my mom and I were looking for a sport I could play,” said Kim, who enjoys watching movies, shopping, baking, and hanging out with friends when she’s not in the pool. “We discovered the swim team, and I have been swimming ever since.”
Kim makes it look easy but, as any athlete will experience, there are obstacles for this standout to overcome.
“It is really tough when I am giving one hundred percent at practice, but the meet results just don’t seem to match my effort,” she said. “However, these challenges often push me even harder to reach my goals,” Kim said.
Kim has been on recruiting trips to colleges and narrowing down her options. She is leaning toward studying business, but I am also open to cultural studies.
Swimming may be an individual sport, but there is certainly a team element, especially when it comes to relays.
“Louise works really well with her teammates,” Jurzynski said. “Having Simona Visinski last season really pushed her, and she worked really well with her other captains, Alyssa Bretan and Emma Parkes. The three of them work well together and push each other. I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to work with.
“Louise has been a lot of fun to work with. We've had a good chemistry together since her freshman year when she came in to the program. She's the perfect combination of serious and goofy and she helps make the team a lot of fun to be around.”
Kim said: “The best part about swimming is definitely the people I meet. My team is incredibly supportive and we have grown as a family over the years. They not only push me to be a better athlete, but a better person.”
In addition to being a captain, Kim helps encourage the other swimmers, in part, via her efforts in the pool.
“She definitely inspires and motivates. Along with her fellow captains they’ve set a great example for our younger swimmers and, in turn, the younger swimmers really look up to her,” Jurzynski said.
“Competing for SHS was a dream, and I will miss it very much. It seems like yesterday when I came in as a scared freshman, looking up to the seniors for guidance. SHS swimming has taught me so much, and I have made many memories that I will never forget,” Kim said.