December 21, 2022

With Stamina Enhanced by Running Cross Country, Tangen Helps PHS Girls’ Swimming Produce 3-0 Start

GOING THE DISTANCE: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Kyleigh Tangen shows her freestyle form in a race last season. Junior Tangen starred as PHS defeated Robbinsville 119-47 last Wednesday, winning the 200-yard freestyle and taking second in the 500 free. PHS, which improved to 3-0 with the win, has a meet against Hopewell Valley on December 22 at the Pennington School pool. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Kyleigh Tangen displayed her endurance this fall as she starred for the Princeton High girls’ cross country team.

Junior Tangen placed 11th at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 4 Central Jersey sectional and 16th at the Mercer County championship meet.

Last Wednesday, Tangen demonstrated her stamina in the water for the PHS girls’ swimming team, winning the 200-yard freestyle and placing second in the 500 free to help the Tigers top Robbinsville 119-47 as they improved to 3-0.

“I have been having a lot of fun doing the distance races, it brings a lot of new energy,” said Tangen. “I feel like I can meet a lot of new people because you are not racing the same people.”

PHS has been having fun in the early going as its swimmers have been experimenting with different events.

“It is nice in the beginning to mix and match races, I really enjoy that,” said Tangen.

Tangen enjoys mixing and matching her athletic pursuits. “It was fun during cross country, I have really good control over my breath,” said Tangen, who also competes for Princeton Piranhas Swim Team.“When I am running by people, they are panting really hard and I am jogging leisurely. I only do club swimming three days a week during cross country compared to six during the normal season. I want to concentrate more heavily on the sport in which season I am in.”

Competing with fellow juniors Jesse Wang, Courtney Weber, Lauren Girouard, and Nora Chen on the PHS team has been a lot of fun for Tangen.

“I have known and raced with the people three years, we are really good friends at this point,” said Tangen. “We don’t swim on the same club teams. It is really nice to be able to race as a team during the high school season rather than competing against each other.”

Racing against sophomore teammate Sabine Ristad in the 500 free helped Tangen come up with a nice swim.

“She is a distance swimmer and I said ‘it is going to be a race,’ but then it wasn’t,” said Tangen, whose clocked a time of 5:42.22 in taking second with Ristad winning in 5:37.03. “She told me she was going to swim easy but then after the first 50, I realized this is not easy.”

PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz likes the way Tangen has been swimming this winter.

“The 500 is something she has been saying lately, I like this, can I swim this a little bit more often for us,” said Misiewicz. “She is just such a positive person to have on the pool deck.”

Although some swimmers were missing for PHS last Wednesday due to upcoming club events and illness, the mood on the deck was still positive as others stepped up with some good performances. Individual winners for the Tigers in the meet included Beatrice Cai in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, Jesse Wang in the 100 free, Annie Flanagan in the 100 backstroke, and Jessica Hull in the 100 breaststroke.

“We are very fortunate with our depth,” said Misiewicz. “Beatrice did the 100 fly for us today and the 200 IM. She will do anything for us. Annie is a really good one as a newcomer. She won the 100 backstroke so that was a good one.”

With the Tigers swimming against Hopewell Valley on December 22 at the Pennington School pool before heading into a holiday break, Misiewicz is looking for her swimmers to push through fatigue.

“Everyone knows that the end goal is counties and postseason,” said Misiewicz. “Regular season is all of this prep. Being able to race through being tired is what I stress to them — that is the most important thing. You have to be able to race when you are tired so when you are not tired, all of the effort that you are putting forth now will just come twice as easy.”

In Tangen’s view, PHS has the depth to do well when it gets into the stretch run of the season.

“We have a lot of promising new swimmers this year,” said Tangen. “They are really super talents and I am looking forward to racing with them at counties and states.”