Sacred Heart pulled away late for a crushing victory over Notre Dame for the girls’ team title at the KHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at Ralph R. Wright Natatorium. The Valkyries put up 372.5 points to 265 for the Pandas to win their fifth straight girls’ title and seventh in the last eight seasons.
Stanford University signee Brooke Forde figured in four of the Valkyries’ six event wins. She swam third for the 200 medley relay team to kick the night off and anchored the 400 freestyle relay unit to cap things. Between those stints she managed to break state meet records in the individual 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
Forde, who received the Outstanding Meet Competitor and Midway University/KHSAA Female Student-Athlete of the Year award for swimming, set the previous 200 freestyle record a year ago. The previous record-holder in the 500 freestyle was former teammate Leah Stevens, now a sophomore at Stanford.
“She was one of those older kids on the team who kind of took me under their wing when I was a freshman and sophomore,” Forde said. “ … She’s always been a role model of mine.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar was the highest-placing Lexington team, coming in eighth overall. Tates Creek finished 11.5 points behind the Bulldogs for ninth.
Commodores sophomore Rachel Klinker was named to the All-State first team after swimming in four events Saturday. Her best race of the day was in the 500 freestyle, in which she finished about 10 seconds behind Forde for second place.
“I’m honored to say I went against her, especially with her being on the junior national team,” Klinker said. “ … I hope to, by my senior year, get the state record. I definitely think that is a realistic goal for me.”
Dunbar senior Lauren Denham, a University of Kentucky signee, was named to the All-State second team.