Swimming twins Avery Kudlac (L) and Riley Kudlac (R) are breaking records at GHS
Glastonbury High School swimming and diving has been a pillar of consistency in the pool.
Twin sisters Avery and Riley Kudlac are the latest swimming sensations that are helping continue the tradition, shining as individuals and as teammates.
“I love our team, it’s awesome. We have the best team ever,” Riley Kudlac said of the current Guardians squad.
The fraternal twins began swimming in summer programs at the age of four before joining a club team a few years later. The countless hours in the pool, combined with a healthy sibling rivalry, groomed them into two of the premier swimmers in the state.
“We’re competitive with each other, but I feel like most siblings would be being in the same sport,” said Avery Kudlac.
Riley added, “Growing up it was crazy, we would always swim to see who was faster. I think now that we’re older it has died down a little, but It’s definitely helped with how fast we are because we had each other.”
The duo entered GHS with years of experience from club swimming, allowing them to excel as freshmen.
At the 2019 Class LL finals, Riley broke the school record in the 50 freestyle (24.57) in prelims and swam the third fastest time, finishing behind two seniors. She also posted the fourth fastest time in the 100 freestyle (52.87) and joined forces with Norell Paluska, Caroline Cermignani, and Brooke Sowka on a 200 freestyle relay team that finished third.
Avery broke the school record in the 100 butterfly (57.46) in prelims before swimming the fourth fastest time in the event at the class finals. She also placed 7th in the 100 backstroke and teamed with Sowka, Cermignani, and Carleigh Motycka for a third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
The twins were ready to set even higher marks as sophomores, but COVID-restrictions forced virtual swim meets and eliminated conference and state competitions.
Now juniors, the two are back and better than ever, and thrilled to be swimming in front of family and friend again.
“It’s awesome. We love having people watch us and cheer us on because we know so many of the parents and have grown up with them, so it’s nice to have them watch in person,” Riley said.
Avery added, “It’s a much better atmosphere and I feel like I race better.”
Last Tuesday, GHS welcomed swimming & diving fans back for the first meet since October of 2019. It was a triumphant return as the Guardians defeated conference rival Wethersfield.
Avery chalked up victories in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Riley took home first place finished in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
The Kudlac sisters also teamed up for a victory in the 200-medley relay. In 2019, they broke a school record in the same event, teaming with Carleigh Motycka and Norell Paluska to swim a 1:47.83.
For both, the glory of winning individual events is great, but they get the most satisfaction winning relays.
“I’ve always loved relays because I think our team is just so close, so getting to swim with them and to hear everyone cheer is my favorite part personally,” Riley said.
Avery added that the two have that extra special connection associated with twins, “I feel like we have a lot of trust in each other, because we are so close. It helps a lot with relay exchanges and knowing how each other swims.”
Both sisters and the GHS swim team have a chance to make major waves at the state finals later this fall.
But for now, they’re just enjoying the moment.
“We just want to keep posting better times and obviously we’d like to do good at states,” added Avery, “I think we have a good chance.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin