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KCChronicle.com/preps Athlete of the Week: St. Charles East swimming's Nicole Chapko

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 5:31 a.m. CDT

St. Charles East senior girls swimmer Nicole Chapko closed her career by competing in three races at Saturday’s state finals at Evanston. Her top finish – a sixth-place swim in the 100-yard breast stroke – happened just moments before she completed the anchor leg for the Saints’ 12th-place 400 freestyle relay. Chapko added a ninth-place race in the 200 individual medley and earned a nod as the St. Charles Bank & Trust-Kane County Chronicle Athlete of the Week. Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley caught up with Chapko after the finals, and the following is an edited transcript:

What was the difference in the 100 breast stroke final?

My turns were a little off. ... That’s what I was trying to focus on. It didn’t quite work out the way I wanted to, but I tried to stay up with the girls by me and still get a pretty good time, so I was pretty happy with that.

Talk about how hectic the last part of your day was.

Up until two weeks ago, I was swimming the medley relay, so those things can change. ... I swam the freestyle relay at sectionals and then here, so it happened recently. It was tough, but fun.

How long does it take to wind down from doing what you did?

Easily, after my IM it took me about 10 minutes [in the warm up/cool down pool] to start to begin to relax. I had to barrel my heart rate down then jump right back up again. So it was definitely tough, but it paid off.

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