Mercer Island Islanders senior Killian Riley has never shied away from the challenge of competing in the pool.
Riley, who will compete at the Class 3A state swim meet in 400 free relay, 200 free relay, 200 free and 100 free, embraces the determination and moxie required in order to succeed as a swimmer.
“You have to compete hard, you have to train hard. It is all about mental toughness. Every event is going to hurt, but you have to be able to push through the pain,” Riley said.
Riley particularly enjoys competing on the four-athlete relay teams (400 free relay, 200 free relay).
“There is a lot more excitement and adrenaline built into it. It feels a lot better when you win because you were part of a team that won something. It wasn’t just you,” Riley said. “It is an honor (being part of two relay teams), especially with it being my last year.”
The team camaraderie amongst members of the Islanders swim team is well known throughout the Mercer Island community.
“We hang out a lot. We have team dinners after every single meet. Right now we are building a team (wooden) table. It is not quite finished yet. We just have a lot of fun hanging out with each other. It is quite an experience,” Riley explained.
Mercer Island Islanders swim head coach Evan Moline enjoys Riley’s reliable nature in the pool.
“He has always been really consistent on his relay splits. As a coach, it’s nice knowing you have someone like that who is going to give the team exactly what it needs out of him. He has always been someone the last couple of years at postseason and championship meets where I just know we can rely on him. You know he is going to bring it,” Moline said proudly. “Last year at state he had the second fastest split in the 200 free relay where we ended up winning (earning first place). That was huge.”
Recently the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Riley some questions about his life away from the pool.
Mercer Island Reporter: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Killian Riley: When people chew with their mouths open. That bugs me.
MIR: What is your dream vacation spot?
KR: Hawaii. I love the sun and I was born there.
MIR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?
KR: It would probably be James Richardson (Mercer Island swim teammate).
MIR: What is your favorite hobby away from swimming?
KR: I like to binge watch TV shows. I’m into “House” right now. It is an old show but my parents used to watch it.
MIR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?
KR: The New Orleans Saints. My uncle was stationed there and when I was a kid he brought me back a Saints jersey. I kind of latched onto the team.
MIR: What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
KR: “Glass.” I didn’t see the previous two movies, so I was kind of confused.