Although the Mercersburg Academy senior's strength is in freestyle swimming, last weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championships, Shivers proved he could be successful in a number of strokes.
Shivers led the Blue Storm with a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 55.78. He was the only Mercersburg boy to capture a title, and he is this week's Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.
"I've been putting a lot of hard work into branching out into new strokes," Shivers said. "I'm usually a freestyle swimmer, and now I'm starting to do butterfly and backstroke. I've always been good at freestyle, so I just wanted to try some new things."
In addition to his first-place finish, he also took fourth in the 100 yard backstroke in 57.66.
A member of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, Shivers helped his teams place second and third, respectively. Along with Sam Ciocco, Pearce Bloom and Carson Owlett, the 200 freestyle team finished in 1:32.04; while Shivers, Owlett, Ciocco and Jani Ertl completed the 400 freestyle relay in 3:26.29.
"We just have a lot of team comraderie," Shivers said. "We get fired up for the relays pretty easily, and it's just a lot of fun to swim with your friends that you get to swim with all the time."
Because the Mercersburg team is relatively small, with a large number who can compete successfully in the freestyles, Blue Storm coach Pete Williams noted how important it was to have some as versatile as Shivers.
"We just wanted to balance out our team," Williams said. "We need to spread people, and luckily, he could do those strokes as well."
In addition, the ability to be flexible should help Shivers' swimming career at the next level.
"He's very strong, and because he's mostly a sprinter, he'll be able to do the sprints in the different strokes as well," Williams said. "That'll help him swim in college to be able to do some of the other events as well."
Although Shivers suffered some injuries during his junior year and has had to battle back this season, he has had a decent amount of success.
With Mercersburg's season winding down next week at the Eastern Championships, Shivers said he just hopes to go out on a high note. Individually, he'll likely compete in the 100 fly and the 50 free as well as two relays.
"My goal is just to get back to the finals and see how well I can do from there," Shivers said.
Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Shivers, Mercersburg
Events: 50 and 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, both freestyle relays
Parents: Michael and Cathy Shivers
Interests: Reading, playing video games and playing pool.
Surprising fact: While most swimmers get hyped before their individual events, Shivers elects to sit quietly and calmly.
Favorite pro team: Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Orioles and Washington Capitals
Athlete most admired: Michael Phelps
Most influential person in athletic career: Chris Chance, former Chambersburg YMCA Chargers coach
Statistics: At the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championships, Shivers placed first and fourth in his individual events and helped the 200 and the 400 freestyle relays place second and third, respectively.