By LARRY VAUGHT
Ohio swimmer Kristyn Sabol didn’t really know a lot about the swimming program at the University of Kentucky until she recently went for an official visit and immediately knew UK “was right for me” and made her commitment.
“This is a big summer for me. I am trying to make the Olympic Trial cuts and I wanted my college choice out of the way before then. I had time to go for some visits and just knew Kentucky was where I wanted to be,” said Sabol. “The coaches were a big part of my decision and so the fact that Kentucky really has a close-knit team.”
Sabol’s mother was just as impressed with the UK program.
“The swimmers all seem happy. We are used to that dynamic with her club team that will do anything for you. Kentucky is that way,” Sabol’s mother said. “Kristyn’s two older sisters played volleyball in college so we have some exposure to different coaching styles and resources available to athletes. She was looking for something where she felt confident the coaches had a vested interest to make her good down the road. We both felt that way immediately about Kentucky being very in tune with the swimmers.”
Sabol is part of the Dublin Community Swim Team and has been a success nationally. Sabol is a four-time Ohio State Championship finalist for Coffman High School — twice in the 200 freestyle and twice in the 100 butterfly. She was second in 2019 in the 200 in 1 minute, 48.26 seconds.
Sabol played volleyball when she was younger but stopped in eighth grade to pursue swimming at a higher level.
“My mom says I would have been the best volleyball player but I just loved swimming more and since both are very time consuming, I wanted to do swimming,” Sabol, who lives just outside Columbus, said. “I was in the gym since I was a baby. My whole family was involved in volleyball. When I said I did not want to play volleyball, my mom said swimming and I tried it when I was about 10 and have been swimming since then. I only knew freestyle then.”
Sabol has some “big meets” this summer that will let her test her skills against “some pretty high level swimmers from all around the world” to see how she rates going into her final high school season.
However, friends and others are already excited about her decision to attend Kentucky.
“Everyone is so excited,” Sabol. “Even our AD (athletics director) said, ‘Kentucky, that is awesome.’ My best friend came over with her mom after my commitment wearing Kentucky gear. Everyone has been so positive.
“I didn’t really care about where the school was located as much as I did the relationship I would have with the team. I do like the idea of being close to home, but not super close. I love the way, too, that Kentucky has a really good all-around sports program and that shows you will get the resources you need to succeed no matter what sport you are in at Kentucky.”