Athlete Of The Week: Kayla Chapman


Lukas Werner

Freshman Kayla Chapman strives to “swim fast and swim smart” every day.

Maiyan Job, Staff Reporter

Freshman Kayla Chapman has been swimming for almost nine years and is competitively swimming at the high school level for La Salle and the Dolphins, Portland’s club swim team. “[Joining] the La Salle high school swimming [team] was not what I expected,” she said. “I was expecting something chill and not difficult.”

She joined the swim team this winter and went on to state among just a few other freshmen.

Chapman came to La Salle with many of her friends from elementary school and now her favorite class at La Salle is Honors Algebra II. “I like that class because it’s hard but it’s also really fun and the teacher makes it enjoyable and easy for learning,” Chapman said. 

Chapman appreciates the team dynamic of the La Salle swim team. “The way the team dynamic is, it’s really team-based, not so much individual like club, and that’s just really fun to be a part of,” she said. 

She attributes a lot of her motivation to her coaches, for example, Ms. Adriana Noesi. “She’s the one who always likes to cheer people up, but she’s also hyper-energetic and makes practices fun,” Chapman said.

Chapman also has many friends on the swim team. “I have a lot of friends swimming on both teams and a lot of people who came to [La Salle] who used to go to my old school,” she said.

Chapman began swimming at 6 years old. “The reason I actually started to swim was my dad wanted to take me out on his boat with him fishing, and my mom said he could only do that once I learned how to swim,” Chapman said. “So she put me in swim lessons when I was really young, and that just slowly graduated into me joining a club team.” 

In the third grade, she joined her school swim team and broke many Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) records. She has broken records for her club team as well. “I love winning,” Chapman said.

Although there are sometimes challenges, Chapman says her love for the sport always outweighs them. “I have definitely thought of quitting a few times and I think my parents realized that, because they keep asking me, ‘do you want to quit,’ and each time my response is no,” Chapman said.

Chapman represented La Salle in the OSAA 5A State Swim relays and two individual events this past Friday. She placed 5th in the 100-yard backstroke and 9th in the 200-yard freestyle event.

As for her future in swimming, “I definitely want to swim in college, and I’m hoping to get a scholarship for that,” Chapman said. She also said that she wants to make the top swim meets, where the best swimmers in the state meet together, by junior year — which will help her achieve her goal of swimming in college. 

Chapman swims by the motto her club coach gave to her, “swim fast and smart,” which she strives to do each and every day.

Correction: 02/25/22

This article originally stated that Chapman was the only La Salle freshman to qualify for state. Chapman was actually accompanied by freshman Rowan Mozena, who also qualified for state.