Kearney Swim Team combines humor, hot speed in the pool, for Team of the Week honors

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LIBERTY, Mo. — There’s no goofing around for our FOX4 HyVee Team of the Week.

Kearney High School’s Girls Swimming team is among the best in Missouri, and a class clown is leading the Bulldogs speed, in and out of the pool.

As you enter the natatorium at William Jewell College, where the Bulldogs have their practices, it’s hard to miss the giggling. Bulldog swimmers say there’s a lot of silly stuff that comes from Andi Kreiling’s phone, and they love the laughs she shares with them. One video Kreiling, a sophomore, posted to the social media app TikTok shows her wearing a hoodie and sunglasses, comedically mean-mugging for the camera as Drake’s “Nonstop” blared in the background.

“I didn’t think anybody would know about it, and then, they somehow found out about it. And, then, Coach Long, they showed it to him,” Kreiling laughed.

However, it isn’t her sense of humor that has Kearney’s speediest swimmer making waves. Kreiling’s speed is attention-grabbing enough. Kreiling, 16, is becoming known more for victories than videos. In only her second year as a school swimmer, Andi is ranked in Missouri’s top ten in the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle sprints. Kreiling’s personal best in the 50 meter is an impressive 24.28, and she’s currently ranked fifth in the state for her 100 meter freestyle performance.

“Our success really shows in the pool because we work so hard every single day of the week,” Kreiling said.

“She’s really funny,” Lizzie Bitner, Kreiling’s teammate at Kearney, said. “She’s definitely the fastest on the team. She really is a good sprinter.”

“Training for swimming is difficult,” Nate Long, Kearney head coach, said. “It’s a grind. When you have a goofy, fun personality, it makes everything move along a little quicker. That, combined with her insane work ethic, really helps her shine.”

The laughs and laps are turning into a legacy. Kreiling is a sprinter on a Kearney club that’s won three straight district championships, and finished sixth in the state last season. That’s a school record when it comes to the state tournament, and in 2019, they’re ranked in Missouri’s top 10 again.

“I feel like we really push each other to be better in the pool,” Kreiling said.

John Lewis, a store representative with HyVee, was on hand to present the Kearney Swim Team its Team of the Week trophy on Thursday. It’s recognition this team, as well as its leader, receive since they refuse to phone it in.

Kreiling is also plays club volleyball for the celebrated KC Power club, which is ranked in the top 20 girls volleyball teams in the United States.

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