St. Charles North freshman Monica Guyett moved with her family from Bryant, Ark., about 18 months ago, and made fast friends when she brought her swimming career along. Already flanked by older sister Nicole (a North junior) and younger sister Audrey (a Haines Middle School seventh-grader) in the lanes, Guyett hasn’t had trouble emerging onto her new hometown’s bustling pool scene. Last week, she placed second in the 500-yard freestyle at the Upstate Eight Conference meet, swimming in the upper 5:03s and coming within about four seconds of the school record. Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley caught up with Guyett for this week’s edition of the Weekend Chit-chat, discussing Guyett’s approach to her favorite event, among other things. The following is an edited transcript:
How did you treat the swimming section of PE earlier this term?
I just have fun with it, and if other people are having troubles with it, I kind of help them.
As far as the real thing, what have you thought about the season?
It’s been really fun. High school is a lot different from club. We’re more of a close group. We just really get to know each other.
Compare the intensity of what you have here to what you experienced in Arkansas.
It’s actually a lot faster up here. In Arkansas, I was pretty much top at club, and here, it’s really hard. In seventh grade, I would have been tops in high school [in Arkansas], but the times are a lot faster here.
How do you like the challenge?
It’s fun. You always need a challenge.
Talk about how swimming has bonded your siblings.
A lot. When we swim together, we have a lot of jokes, and it helps us through practice, because we just joke around a lot. It’s just fun.
You got to know Hailey Norris and Grace Samuelson at Haines and swim with them now. How do you get along?
It’s great. And there was one kid on club, he was joking around and said that Hailey’s uncle or something was Chuck Norris.
You’re already chasing down the school’s 500 free record. What’s the key there?
I just want my name up on that board, just aiming for that goal. ... I’ve always been freestyle. I remember the first time my coach put me in the 500 [in Arkansas], I cried because I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was so hard. But now it’s my favorite event. I love it.
How did Ashley Asuncion get to be your lap counter for that event?
She’s my lucky person for high school. ... I just asked her to do that for my first meet, and then I just kept asking her, and now we’ve just established that whenever I swim the 500, she’s there to count for me.
Do they supply those cards, or does coach have his own?
I think they have them at the pool.