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A multiple-time YMCA National Championships finalist, John Kaleta of Morrow, Ohio, has decided to attend and swim for the US Coast Guard Academy this fall. Kaleta is currently finishing his senior year at Bishop Fenwick High School and swims club with the Countryside Ralph Stolle YMCA.
Back in April, Kaleta was a finalist in three different events at the 2023 YMCA Short Course National Championships. His top finish came in the 100 breast, where he took 8th in a time of 56.75. In the 200 breast, he hit a lifetime best during finals to take 10th in 2:01.76. He rounded out his meet by hitting a lifetime best of 4:06.37 in the 400 IM during prelims. That time was good enough to earn him as finals appearance as the 24th seed.
Two months earlier, at the OHSAA (Ohio High School) Division II Swimming and Diving State Championships, Kaleta was a finalist in both of his events. Like at the YMCA National meet, his top finish came in the 100 breast, where he took 3rd in 56.25. His lifetime best in the event came during prelims, where he touched in 56.12. He also added an 11th place finish in the 200 IM (1:58.37).
Top SCY Times
- 100 breast – 56.12
- 200 breast – 2:01.76
- 200 IM – 1:56.55
- 400 IM – 4:06.28
Kaleta will be a huge addition to the Coast Guard program this fall, with a time in the 200 breast that would have led the team by five seconds last season. His arrival will help fill the gap left by the graduation of the program’s top breaststroke, Tyler Bland. Bland led the program in the breaststroke events last season and was an NCAA qualifier in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 breast.
In 2023, Coast Guard sent five men to the Division III NCAA Championships in Greensboro. Bland was joined by Colin Twiss, Sean Lyman, Brandon Chhoeung, and Bobby O’Donnell. Kaleta will have two years of overlap with Lyman, Twiss, and Chhoeung when he joins the team this fall.
At the conference level, Kaleta will give the program a huge boost in his first season with the team. At the 2023 NEWMAC Swimming and Diving Championships, his lifetime best in the 200 breast would have been fast enough to earn him 2nd, just .04 off of the champion in the event. He’d have also been an A-finalist in the 100 breast and 400 IM and a B-finalist in the 200 IM.
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