CANTON — Clinton-Massie’s Gracie Storm will return to McKinley High School’s CT Branin Natatorium for a second day in the Div. II Ohio State Swimming & Diving Championships.
The Clinton-Massie junior has qualified for the B Finals in the 100-yard backstroke. She also is the first alternate for the B Finals in the 500-yard freestyle.
“She was super excited,” said CM coach Kacie Jenkins.
Storm advanced by finishing 16th with a time of 59.11 Thursday in the 100 backstroke. Her best time in that event was at last week’s district when she went 59.04, a CM record.
So despite swimming more than a second slower in the 100 back, Storm — who was seeded 18th going into the event — earned a top 16 finish and the right to swim Friday.
Jenkins said a swimmer’s taper — training to reach peak performance at a specific meet — likely caused the fluctuations in times for swimmers ahead of Storm going into the state meet.
“Most people taper at districts,” Jenkins said. “So there will be some girls who swim slower (times at state). It just really depends. Sometimes it’s whatever adrenaline you have left.”
Storm, who has qualified for the state meet now three years in the 500 free, finished 17th Thursday in 5:14.06 and is the first alternate, meaning should could swim in the B Finals if one of the qualifiers drops out. Her district time in the 500 was 5:12.99, also a school record.
In her Thursday 500 free swim, Storm was battling down the stretch.
“The last 100 (yards) she really picked up the pace and went right after the people in front of her,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said Storm was relaxed at the meet, joking and talking about “non-swimming stuff.”
“She’s relaxed and laughing and really about having fun,” Jenkins said of Storm. “But when it comes time for her event, there’s a seriousness about her.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.