Area swimmers finish strong at state meet

In addition to Decatur senior Christina Hussong’s state diving championship, three area swimmers placed at Saturday’s state championships.

Decatur junior Sandy Hong finished second in the 500-yard freestyle race. She swam a personal-best time of 5:01.23.

“I was just trying as hard as I could,” Hong said. “My goal was to break 5 minutes, but I’m happy with how I did.”

Juanita senior Jamie Tannhauser won the 500 with an All-American consideration time of 4:55.10.

“She’s really fast in the 500,” Hong said. “It’s fun just to try to keep up with her. Next year I might get a shot at winning, but some freshman might come up and challenge me. We’ll see how the year progresses”

Hong preceded the 500 race with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.95. Last year at state, Hong was third in the 500 and sixth in the 200.

“In the 200 I was really nervous and scared to go,” Hong said. “In the 500 I just went out there and didn’t worry about it too much. I was really nervous yesterday, so I was all nervoused out.”

Jefferson junior Caitlin Friedhoff also placed in two events. She finished third in the 50 freestyle in 0:24.43, fast enough for All-American consideration, and fifth in the 100 freestyle in 0:52.56.

“I thought I was going to do better, but I totally lost it,” Friedhoff said. “In the last 25 (yards) I was dead. I was tired. I went out too hard, I guess.”

Jefferson sophomore Kristin Okazaki placed in two events. She was seventh in he 200 individual medley in 2:11.05 and fourth in the 100 butterfly in 0:58.43.

Initially in the 200 IM, Okazaki was mistakenly disqualified by confused meet officials. But that mistake turned into motivation for her next event.

“I was really upset because they said I was disqualified, but they made a mistake,” Okazaki said. “In the 100 fly I wanted to come back and race well.”

In the 100-yard butterfly finals, Okazaki shaved .74 of a second off her preliminary time.

“I’m really excited,” she said.

As a team, Jefferson placed ninth with 78.5 points. Capital won the state title with 247 points. Decatur was 15th with 63 points.

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