NEW CASTLE —
A NEW LOVE
Kyler continued to wrestle into high school, but sustained a broken elbow, wrist and forearm during his freshman and sophomore years at Florence High.
The doctors advised the Rosta family to have Kyler quit wrestling.
“It was hard to give up my past,” he said. “I had trained hard. It was a hard decision. I tried to wrestle in high school and it was worse, because I couldn’t do as much as I could when I was younger.”
The decision to give up wrestling sent the teenager into a tailspin.
“He thought sports were down the tubes for him once wrestling was done,” Brown said. “He was depressed. Then swimming came along. The change was unbelievable.”
Kyler, though, views wrestling’s loss as his own personal gain.
“It was a loss-win for me,” he said. “Out here in Arizona, wrestling and swimming are at the same time, so I couldn’t do both. If It wasn’t for me having this disease and having to quit wrestling, I wouldn’t have gotten into swimming and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.”
With wrestling no longer an option, Kyler turned to swimming as a therapeutic exercise rather than a sport.
“Swimming relieves my joints,” he said.
It didn’t take long until Kyler caught the eye of then-Florence High swimming coach Chris Lineberry, who asked for Brown’s blessing to allow her son to swim for the school.
“My coach saw potential in me,” Kyler said. “I was only going to dive. My times were pretty fast my first year. I’m not trying to brag, but by my second race, I had already beaten the times of people that had been swimming for years. That’s when my coach saw my potential and started to train me.”
Both parents are surprised at how well their son has done in the pool.
“I was thinking he’d be mediocre at swimming, because he’d never done it before,” Brown said. “He smoked everyone in that first race. I was in awe.”
“It’s kind of surprising,” Paul said. “He didn’t start at 6 or 7 years old like a lot of kids do. He started a couple years ago and it was something that he fell in love with. He has the ability and the talent. He’s set a couple records.”
As good as he was initially, Kyler’s abilities in the pool still needed some fine-tuning. He had no clue how to do a proper flip-turn nor did he have proper technique diving into the water to start a race.
“Kyler watches videos on swimming almost every night,” Brown said. “He’s taught himself how to do flip-turns. He’s transferred his dedication to wrestling over to swimming. I’ve never seen the level of discipline he has with swimming.”
Paul has been impressed with his son’s drive in the pool.
“He was the same way with wrestling, but swimming is what he wants to do now,” the elder Rosta said. “He’s very adamant about it. He’s very dedicated beyond belief. If he loses, he gets frustrated. He’s putting in 110 percent effort to get better.”