City High's Lizzie Brown Wins State Swim Meet
By Douglas Miles and Josh Christensen, Reporters
MARSHALLTOWN – With two events remaining, it appeared that gold would again elude the area schools at the girls’ state swimming and diving meet.
Then Lizzie Brown found an extra burst.
The Iowa City High junior surged past leader Sydney Angell from Pleasant Valley over the final 25 yards of the 100 breaststroke to win in a thrilling time of 1:06.32 Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA pool.
“I’m just really excited, really happy,” Brown gushed. “I just try and swim my best race, I never try and look at the people next to me.”
Brown, a three-time state qualifier in the event who placed 15th in 2010 and fourth last year, downplayed any feelings of anxiety going into the day.
“I just went in thinking, whatever happens, happens,” she said. “And it turned out well.”
Freshman Kelsey Drake of Cedar Rapids Jefferson posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Drake was very pleased with her time of 2:04.85 in the 200 IM, but felt the 100 fly got away from her after the first turn.
“I shortened up and I wasn’t stretching out as much as I should have,” said Drake, who finished in 55.48. “I knew I could have gone faster because I wasn’t exactly where I needed to be.”
Both Brown and Drake posted times that would place them in consideration for All-American status in the three events.
Ames claimed the team title for the fourth straight year with 302 points. Iowa City West finished seventh at 111, its fifth-straight top-10 finish. West’s Jacintha Thomas was runner-up in Friday’s diving competition with a score of
513.15, the fourth-best score in state history but not enough to overcome Ames’ Maggie James, the three-time state champion. Lilian Zhu broke the school record she set a week ago at regionals with a runner-up time of 57.27 in the 100 backstroke in her final appearance at state.
“I was definitely a little more nervous, but I’m usually pretty good about dealing with nerves,” said Zhu, who also finished 10th in the 100 freestyle. “We have a great coaching staff as usual this year, and the whole team was really into it.”
Cedar Rapids Kennedy paced the Metro squads with a 14th-place finish, led by top-10 finishes by its relay teams in the 200 medley and 200 free. Freshman Brooke Timmerman was ninth in the 100 breaststroke at 1:08.23.
“The girls swam well,” Kennedy Coach John Ross said. “Overall, a really good performance. Real proud of their efforts, it’s always tough to see our seniors leave.”
Freshman Jenn Jenks took bronze in the 100 freestyle at 52.15 for Linn-Mar, which placed 17th with 56 team points. Jefferson finished 20th at 40, with Iowa City High right behind with 28 points. Cedar Rapids Washington (2 points) was 29th.
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