Lyman Hall graduate Kyle Neri, now a sophomore at William & Mary, helped the Tribe repeat as Colonial Athletic Association swimming champion by placing in the final heat of three freestyle events with personal-best times and by swimming legs on two first-place relays. William & Mary swimming is coached by Southington native Matt Crispino.
March 16, 2014 01:00AM
By Sean Krofssik
WALLINGFORD — Lyman Hall’s Kyle Neri, one of the top high school freestyle sprinters in the state for the past few years, has made up his mind where he will continue his swimming career after he graduates from the Wallingford school.
Neri selected the College of William & Mary for academics as well as the Williamsburg, Virginia school’s prowess in the pool.
“I had three offers from Johns Hopkins University, Bucknell University and William & Mary. It was a tough choice,” Neri said. “I loved all three schools.”
Neri ultimately chose William & Mary despite the school’s policy of not offering athletic scholarships.
“That was part of the decision,” Neri said. “But William & Mary has such good academics and swimming that it was worth the extra cost to go there.”
Neri is looking to study finance in college.
“Swimming at the Division I level is really important to me,” Neri said. “I like being a competitive swimmer and being a D-1 swimmer it’s going to bring the best out of me.”
The LH senior said he was recruited to compete in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles.
“I have to get my times even faster,” Neri said. “I’m hoping I get my times down to where I will be able to final at the [Colonial Athletic Association) championships as a freshman. I’m hoping to get on a relay, too, but they have a lot of great swimmers on that team, so it’s going to take a lot to earn a spot.”
Last year, as a junior, Neri finished third in the 200 freestyle with a 1:42.73 and second in the 100 at 47.53 in the Class M championship meet. At the State Open, he was fourth in the 100 freestyle (47.44) and sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:44.06).
He goes into the state meets this season — the Class M meet is Tuesday at Wesleyan — battling an ankle injury that forced him to withdraw from the SCC conference championship after one event.
Lyman Hall coach Donna Neary said Neri is more than just his races and times. He’s a great teammates as well.
“He’s important to the team in more than just swimming,” Neary said. “He’s a great kid to have around. He works hard. He has the drive and desire. He has the long and lean swimmers body. His drive makes him so good. He doesn’t like to lose and he gives 100 percent every time he is in the pool.”
Former Lyman Hall coach Gordon Green coached Neri for three seasons before retiring after last year. “He’s probably the best kid I’ve coached in over 40 years in the sport,” Green said. “He’s going to a quality program and he will fit right in as far as his talent and work ethic. It is also a great business school, so that is two positives for Kyle.”
Neary said when Neri will only get better once he gets in a college program.
“He will see a big improvement,” Neary said. “He will not be the fastest one in the pool and he will have people to push him.”