UNION MALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Kai Legband, senior, swimming

Legband won both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the EZ North Speedo Short Course Championships as a member of the Tidal Wave Swim Team in Ithaca, N.Y., in late March following a high school season which saw him finish third in the 50 and fourth in the 100 events at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. Legband won both events at the Union County Swimming Championships in January.

You’ve been quoted as saying one of your goals is to qualify and swim at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires for Bermuda later this year. Which events are trying to qualify for and how much are you looking forward to the qualifying?
My hopes are to qualify for the 50 and 100 freestyle. I am extremely excited about the possibility of qualifying as I have been training for hours on a daily basis.

Since freestyle is your preferred stroke, is there a distance you prefer over others? Why? And do you like, want to, or intend to possibly swim other strokes?
Yes, freestyle is my stroke of choice but I prefer to swim 100 free over the 50 because I am able to gain more speed during the last leg of the race. While I do swim other strokes such as 100 fly and back, freestyle is my strong suit.

Other than getting to the Youth Olympics, what short, medium and long-term goals have you set for yourself?
As far as my short-term goals, I plan to perform to the best of my ability at the CARIFTA Games, which will be held at the end of this month in Kingston, Jamaica, as a member of the Bermuda swim team. As far as medium goals, I hope to get personal best times at the summer junior nationals, in East Meadow, N.Y. For my long-term goals I hope to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics as a member of Bermuda.

Is there a particular swimmer you admire more than others (Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, etc.)?
I admire Caleb Dressel because he is closer to my age therefore making him more relatable.

Do you ever get nervous before competing? What do you do to calm your nerves?
No, I don’t really get nervous prior to a race but I do listen to a particular song that pumps me up and puts me in the right mindset.

What do you like most about competitive swimming?
The best thing about competitive swimming is that it challenges me to work harder and push myself to be at my best at all times.

How old were you when you first learned to swim and who taught you?
I learned to swim at the age of 3, when I attended the daycare center at the Boys and Girls Club of Union County, Union Club, by swimming instructor Lucero Cano.

There are several college recruiting websites that list your name. Where are you looking? Any favorites so far?
Currently, I am interested in Seton Hall and NJIT. While I have applied to others, I think I would like to be closer to home my first year.

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