Kingsley earns bronze in swim meet

Megan Kingsley of Mount Pleasant, who won a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii, prepares to mount the starting block.

Megan Kingsley said the experience of competing last month in the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii ranked right up with participating in the Olympic Trials this summer.

β€œThe experience was so amazing. It was my first international meet,” said the 16-year-old Wando High School junior. The meet took place Aug. 23-26.

Kingsley said one of the amazing parts of the adventure was how fast the 46 U.S. team members bonded.

Kingsley competed in five events, setting personal bests in four including a third-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:11.32. Her other events were the 100 butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley and 50m freestyle, and the only event in which she did not set a personal best was the 400.

The United States won the meet, which included teams from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Her finish in the 200m butterfly earned Kingsley a spot on the U.S. Junior National Team and also helped polish her resume for college. She said among the schools that already have contacted her are Auburn, Arizona, Indiana, Duke and Winthrop.

Kingsley said the Junior National Team later will travel to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado, and she still is busy competing for the Mount Pleasant Swim Club.