Lewis Cass standout swimmer Kirsten Carbaugh capped off her career by winning the Mid-Indiana Conference title in the 500-yard freestyle this winter.
Carbaugh won the event with a personal-best time of 5:50.
“I was really glad to do it my senior year. It was a great way to end my year,” she said.
Carbaugh competed at the Warsaw Sectional this past weekend. She finished fourth in the 500 free with a time of 5:52 and seventh in the 200 IM with a time of 2:33.
She was also part of the Kings’ 400 free relay team that finished second to Culver Academies with a time of 3:58.
The Kings finished third as a team.
“We went up against 13 schools and we ended up getting third, so I think that was a great accomplishment,” Carbaugh said.
Cass coach Melanie Karmel praised Carbaugh’s work ethic.
“She’s one of the hardest working swimmers that I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach. She’s always putting in the effort without me even having to tell her what to work on. So we will miss her a lot next year because she sets such a great example,” Karmel said.
“One of her goals at the beginning of the year was to win something in the MIC. She’s such a versatile swimmer that I could put her in every event, she’d do great in it. So we kind of had to think about what her best chances were and she worked really hard to achieve that goal.”
Carbaugh talked about her championship swim. Her closest competitor was a swimmer from Western.
“It wasn’t that close but I definitely give it to the other girl. She stayed right with me and she definitely pushed me to the end,” she said.
Carbaugh was the Queenfish’s lone MIC champ. Classmate Claire Crum just missed winning the title in the 100 free.
“Claire Crum was second by a hundredth of a second, so it was a really close race,” Karmel said. “That was a rough race for her.”
Carbaugh will be a returning starter on the Cass girls tennis team that won its fifth MIC title in six years last season. She played No. 2 doubles with doubles partner Khyla Wilson a year ago. The duo went 15-1 last season and were named All-MIC.
The following is a question-and-answer session with Carbaugh.
Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?
A. It’s a tie. I love to swim and I love to play tennis. They are both fun to do and are great sports for team bonding.
Q. How did you first get started in sports? At what age?
A. Gosh, I have been swimming for basically my whole life. I can remember swimming with my parents in our pool with my arm floaties on. I then got involved in swim lessons and realized I wanted to swim competitively.
Q. Do you have any family members who played sports?
A. I have an older brother who also swam and played tennis in high school. He was a great athlete and always gave his all.
Q. Have you ever played a sport that you were not successful at?
A. When I was little I tried to play T-ball and I never really was successful in that but that’s all right with me because no one is perfect at every sport.
Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?
A. I feel I have improved as an athlete because I have worked hard and I have spent many hours in the pool. It takes a lot of dedication to become a good athlete but I have to say it is worth it.
Q. Who do you consider your biggest role model? Why?
A. My biggest role model is my mom. She is so strong and she always has a positive attitude no matter what. She is a great influence on me and I appreciate everything she does.
Q. What experiences have you had in sports have made you the athlete you are today?
A. I have to say every athlete has their ups and downs. I have had a few bad races but I am still learning from my mistakes to become the best that I can be.
Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?
A. Not everyone knows that I love to be outside whether it’s sledding, tubing, swimming at the pool or just relaxing. It’s what I like to do.
Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?
A. My favorite memory is my eighth grade year. I was behind the block getting ready for the 100 free and the boy in the lane next to me asked me what my time was. So I told him and he just kind of laughed at me like I couldn’t beat him. We swam the race and I ended up winning. I later found out he was undefeated in this race. This memory is my favorite because he had such an arrogant attitude and was so confident in winning, he never even considered being beat. I mean what girl doesn’t love to win against a boy?
Q. What’s your favorite music, movie, TV show, etc.?
A. I love all country music. It always puts me in a good mood. My favorite movie is 13 Going on 30. Undercover Boss is the best TV show ever! I don’t really have a favorite sports team but I enjoy cheering for the Colts!
Q. Who is the best athlete in your respective sport you’ve ever gone up against?
A. Summer Brown. She is a great swimmer that is humble and I think that says a lot about her. She is one of the fastest swimmers I know.
Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?
A. I am going to Indiana Wesleyan for nursing. They have a pool and tennis courts that I plan on using for fun.
Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.