Up-and-Comers: West Florida Lightning’s Joey Campagnola Has Opened Eyes

Joey Campagnola

Up-and-Comers: West Florida Lightning’s Joey Campagnola Has Opened Eyes

West Florida Lightning Aquatics’ (Largo, Fla.) Joey Campagnola is a versatile young swimmer. The recently aged-up 13-year-old spent the 2021 long and short course seasons at the top of the 11-12 age group rankings.

Before his birthday in December, Campagnola earned the No. 1 ranking in the nation in the 11-12 boys’ age group in the short course 500 freestyle (4:49.34), 200 backstroke (1:59.92), 100-200 butterfly (54.56, 2:00.96) and 200-400 IM (1:57.58, 4:15.16), plus the long course 100 butterfly (1:01.53).

Campagnola currently has his eye on his Futures cuts in both IM events. “In December, after turning 13, he swam a 4:08 in his 400 IM, just missing his Futures cut,” said coach Cashel Mack. “Joey is not only very competitive, but he is easy to coach. He is smart about race strategy and is eager to improve in every area.”

Outside of the pool, Campagnola’s friends know him as the kind, caring and adventurous boy with a larger-than-life personality. He enjoys fishing with his dad and brother, and playing video games or going to amusement parks with his friends.

What Is the Best Thing You Do in Swimming?

I believe that the events I do best are 200 IM and 400 IM because I feel I am a versatile swimmer. Also, my powerful underwaters are what I feel are what I do the best.

What Are Some of the Toughest Workouts/Sets You’ve Done?

The first toughest workout set would be the 100 x 100s that we do on New Year’s Eve every year. Another would be the 10 x 400s set that we do quite often during long course. Last, I would have to say the 6 x 400 IMs set that we do about every two weeks.

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Swimming?

I would say that people feel it is an individual sport, but it really is not—it is most definitely a team sport. This is because we help and support each other at practice and meets. This is what makes it my favorite part about the culture of swimming—we always have each other’s back.

What Are You Most Looking Forward To This Year?

I am most looking forward to meeting my goals of making all of my Futures cuts. My goal is to make my cuts in the 400 IM, 200 IM, 100 fly, 100 breast and 200 breast.

Who Is Someone You Look Up To In Swimming…And Why

The person I look up to would have to be Caeleb Dressel. He is a great swimmer and has achieved so much in his career. But most importantly, after meeting him, I realized he is a very humble and kind person.

What Are Your Favorite Hobbies?

My favorite things to do outside of swimming are playing football with my friends, video games, playing basketball with my brother and drawing.

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