ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – If Alexa Kelly was in the pool during the first two weeks of October, there was a good chance she was going to win. In 12 races this month, the Century Panther junior has finished first six times.
“The season is going great,” said Kelly. “We’re 9-0 right now with dual meets. I’m really proud of how the team has been doing as a whole.”
Happy is a word that comes up a lot with Kelly, who had to race JV races last year due to transfer rules after racing varsity as a freshman.
“It’s a lot more fun being able to compete varsity,” she said. “Closer races, obviously, and it’s just fun being able to compete with the girls that I train with every day.”
So much about swimming is racing faster swimmers in order to lower your times. Iron sharpens Iron. Which is why Kelly’s year away from varsity competition was an eye-opening spectacle for Century Co-Head Coach Dale Magnuson.
“It was amazing to watch her continue to work so hard and really lead everybody on the team in practice every day,” said Magnuson. “She just kept pushing through even though she couldn’t compete at varsity level for our team. [She] just kept saying all year long, ‘I can’t wait to compete next year.’ It’s here this year, and she’s taken every advantage she could and it’s been great.”
Back on the varsity, Kelly is competing, and winning, at the highest level.
“I’m really excited for the next couple of weeks going into the end of the season. Sections, hopefully state,” she said.
“This is, by far, the best team that I’ve ever coached at Century. First time ever we’ve been undefeated to this point in the season,” said Magnuson. “It’s really exciting, and Alexa’s a big part of that. She’s the hardest worker, or one of the hardest workers on the team. She does a fantastic job.”
Alexa Kelly of the Century Panthers Swim & Dive team is this week’s KTTC Athlete of the Week.