During his sophomore season with the Princeton High boys’ swimming team two years ago, Peter Kalibat followed the lead of the squad’s seniors as PHS went undefeated on the way to the program’s first state title.
Now as a senior co-captain, Kalibat is trying to emulate the example set by the team’s Class of 2012.
“We can take some guidance from the seniors that we had then and take on that role for our younger underclassmen now,” said Kalibat.
“We had some great leaders in that class and we are trying to be the same thing to our younger guys.”
Last Thursday, Kalibat assumed a lead role as PHS posted a 110-60 win over WW/P-S with the senior distance specialist winning both the 200 and 500 freestyle races.
“This is definitely one of our main focus meets,” said Kalibat, who also helped the 200 free and 400 free relay teams to victory against WW/P-S.
“We were power pointing so it was very important. We had some great energy going into the meet. We were trying to go very fast and swim as hard as we could and get an early season fast meet, which we did. I am very proud of our team and our performances.”
Kalibat was pleased with how he performed in his individual races against the Pirates.
“I was very happy with my time; 1:47 is a very good time for this early in the season,” said Kalibat, reflecting on his win in the 200 free.
“It gives me a nice idea of where I am right now and what I need to work on — some turns, coming off my walls for some good breakouts. I was very happy with the time in the 500. I definitely still had to go because we were power pointing so I tried nice and hard to help the team out.”
While many swimmers consider the distance races to be hard labor, Kalibat thrives when it comes to endurance.
“I took a turn when I was about 14, then I was more of a stroke guy; I would swim the 500 and down,” said Kalibat.
“Once I got to high school, I focused more on distance. I went to open water nationals in the spring. That’s a 10-kilometer race and it gets you working at threshold for hours at a time so it gets you pumping for a whole race. Once you get to a 500 in a pool it feels so much shorter.
Kalibat and his senior classmates, who include Will Stange, Matt Purdy, Colburn Yu, Scott MacKenzie, Matthew Tam, Eric Zhang, and Avery Soong, are pumped up for their stretch drive which starts with a home meet against Steinert on January 2.
“It is a great senior class, we support each other all the way through,” said Kalibat of the class which has helped PHS earn three straight county and sectional titles.
“They are great guys and great to have on a team because there is some great sportsmanship. We are always cheering each other on; always wishing everyone good luck and supporting everyone after their swims. We have some goals that we want to achieve.”
And based on how the seniors have started their final campaign, they could match the achievements of their 2012 role models.