Kelsey Gregory, the first girl swimmer from Eaton High School to qualify for state, finished 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle during the 38th Annual Girls State Swimming and Diving Tournament held at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton this past weekend.
Gregory came into the meet with the 24th fastest qualifying time, and finished 8th in her heat Thursday, Feb. 20. The top 16 returned for the finals on Friday.
“They use circle seating at the state meet, so one of the top three fastest is swimming in that event will be in your heat. It is a good way for you to push yourself trying to keep pace with them. Kelsey had a real good practice on Wednesday night and a good warm up before the meet.” said Eaton coach Dave Montgomery.
Gregory was in Lane 8 the first heat, which is a good outside lane since the wake she produces does not bounce off the wall but goes into the warm up pool, according to Montgomery.
“Kelsey had a real good start and great turns during the race. I was able to go over the video and her turns were tight and quick and she had good streamline and kicks off the wall. I could not ask for a better swim,” Montgomery said.
She finished 8th in her heat with a time of 2:00.41.
”I knew when she saw the (time) she was not going to be happy with it. I asked her if she had left everything in the pool and she said yes. After that, I told her to be very proud of how far she made it and there was nothing to be down about,” Montgomery said. “The state of Ohio is fifth fastest in swim times in the United States so making it to state and being in the top 24 is great.”
Gregory started the season with a 2:11.12 back in December, and brought her time down to a school record of 1:59.42.
“Kelsey had work hard all season long and for her to drop over 10.70 seconds in a season like that is great. No matter the set I put out she would try and get it done. Even when I put out the 30, 200 IM, butterfly, freestyle she got to set 11. She’s going to be going on to Wittenberg to swim, and I am sure she is not done setting records in swimming,” Montgomery said.