Athlete of the Month: Tapaoan makes waves in her first high school swim season


Mirolla Abdelmasih

Freshman Kaleigh Tapaoan practices freestyle on April 28. Tapaoan placed fourth in the 200 yard individual medley on May 7.

Every month, we recognize two student athletes, one from a boys team and another from a girls team, for their performance on the field. This month we recognize freshman Kaleigh Tapaoan.

This is Tapaoan’s first year on the Birmingham Community Charter High School swim team. She can’t wait to see what the next seasons will have in store for her.

Question: How long have you been swimming? 

Answer: Not competitive wise, almost 10 years and competitively, five years. 

Q: What made you join the swim team? 

A: I needed something to keep me motivated and busy. 

Q: What is your favorite memory from the season? 

A: I think making new friends because I’ve never been on a high school team and I found that everyone was really nice to me when I came in. It was really fun to build new friendships and win competitions. 

Q: What is it like adjusting to a new team? 

A: Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I thought I wouldn’t be more interactive. But since I got to interact with everyone, I was definitely more comfortable. 

Q: What is your favorite stroke and why? 

A: For some reason, it keeps changing. Right now my favorite is breaststroke, which wouldn’t be the case five years ago since I used to hate it. I’ve been getting really good at it and improving my stroke is helping me get faster times and better places. 

Q: Do you plan to continue swimming throughout high school and maybe after? 

A: I’m definitely going to be swimming during high school. I’m planning on hopefully doing it after high school but if not then maybe just as a little hobby.