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John Marshall’s Victoria Kidney Relishing Freshman Year

Monarchs’ standout to compete in 3 events at state swim meet

Photo by Cody Tomer John Marshall’s Victoria Kidney is looking to cap off a spectacular freshman season with a state title.

MOUNDSVILLE — John Marshall freshman swimmer Victoria Kidney has taken the swimming world by storm this year.

In her first year at the high school level, she has re-written the record books at John Marshall.

Now, she faces her biggest test yet as she heads to the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission State Swimming Championships Thursday as a favorite to come away with an individual state title.

“I always try to swim in practice like I would swim in a meet,” Kidney said. “I have the same mindset. I swim doubles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I’ve been really putting a lot of yardage and working hard.

“I’m really excited for this and I think I just need to trust my training and know that I can go out fast and finish just as well and be OK. I just need to trust myself most of all.”

Entering the state meet, Kidney is the top seed in the 100-yard backstroke with a seed time of 58.63, nearly two seconds faster than No. 2 seed Cheyanne Rohde of Bridgeport High School.

She also is the No. 2 seed in the 200 Individual Medley and is joining Laura Siler, Zara Zervos and Katie Cochran as the ninth seed in the 200 free relay.

Kidney is coming off an outstanding performance at the Region 1 Championships earlier this month at Brooke, where she set a new Region 1 record of 58.63 in the backstroke.

She also impressed at the OVAC Swim Meet, where she brought home the gold in the backstroke (58.49), a time that set new meet and pool records.

She also placed second in the 100-yard butterfly at OVACs with a time of 59.40, just missing the top spot, which went to St. Clairsville standout Cassadie DiBetta at 58.91.

“I was really happy with the times I put up at OVACs,” Kidney said. “I was kind of surprised actually. I think that gave me some confidence going into states. Now, I’m thinking ‘I can do this.’ It’s a little bit reassuring.”

Along with OVAC and Region 1 records, Kidney has set new school marks in five different individual events during the 2019-20 swim season and has been a part of two relay records.

Individually, Kidney’s records include the 200 IM (2:11.67), 50 freestyle (25.34), 100 butterfly (59.49), 500 freestyle (5:28.60) and the 100 backstroke (58.49).

She also helped set new school records in the 200 medley relay (2:04.00) with Zervos, Siler and Avery Knutsen, along with a new 200 relay mark of 1:49.84 with Siler, Zervos and Cochran.

“I had heard about Victoria and I talked to her last year when I worked at Sherrard Middle School,” John Marshall swim coach Courtney Wheeling said. “She was one of my students. She has been wildly successful but I was aware that she is a great kid, a hard worker and a phenomenal swimmer.

“The sky is the limit for her. She is going to be all over that record board by the time she graduates.”

With a work ethic as strong as Kidney’s, it won’t be a surprise if she continues down a path of success for her remaining high school years.

“She is very dedicated and hard working,” Wheeling said. “She is extremely coachable, too. Unlike someone being that good, she could not listen to what I have to say but she takes everything I say and improves upon it. She always wants to learn more and push herself. It’s been really fun to work with her.”

As the finale approaches beginning on Thursday, Wheeling simply wants Kidney to stay consistent.

“She just needs to keep doing what she’s been doing,” Wheeling said. “She is super dedicated and always comes to practice ready to roll. If she just keeps that mentality, she’ll get it done.

“I just want her to get the most out of her swim meet, whether that is the best time or just a good experience down there but if you ask her, her main goal is to be a state champion.”

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