High School Sports

The fast keep getting faster

LOUISVILLE — Krissie Brandenburg of Beechwood broke two state records, including one she set Friday during preliminaries for the state swimming and diving meet.

Kristen Wilson of Paul Dunbar won a race for the fourth consecutive year.

Perhaps the closest race of all was the four points that separated five-time defending champion Manual from Sacred Heart for the coveted team championship.

The girls' competition at Ralph Wright Natatorium Saturday most of all was "an incredibly fast meet," according to Tim Cahill, co-meet director and Model coach.

Cahill especially was impressed by the quality of swimmers in the consolation flights.

State records fell in three individual events and one relay.

Beechwood's Brandenburg won the 100 freestyle in 50.26 seconds, beating the 2004 record of 50.33 by Caroline Burckle.

In the previous race, Brandenburg's friend and swim club teammate Ellen Williamson of Notre Dame set the 100-yard butterfly record in :54.98, breaking Talor Bendel's 1994 record of 55.15.

Brandenburg later broke the 100 backstroke record with :55.30, .01 faster than her qualifying time. Williamson was second at :55.38.

"I didn't think about records till after the prelims," Brandenburg said. "I was close then, and I decided to go for them.

"I thought, if I won the first I'd get the record, but (runner-up) Wilson is a bit intimidating. I was in a relay and very tired right before the 100 backstroke. (The record) was worth it."

Brandenburg, a junior, and Notre Dame sophomore Williamson swim for the Northern Kentucky Clippers.

"She was happy for me," Brandenburg said. "If she was a little upset, she didn't show it."

The hometown battle between Manual and Sacred Heart was fueled by the Valkyries' victory in the 2nd Region meet the week before state.

Manual Coach Gary Webb predicted before the regional that the winner might not win the state. He was right; his Lady Crimsons won 358-354.

Sacred Heart led by two points entering the final event, the 400 free relay. The Valkyries couldn't catch the Lady Crimsons, who won by almost three seconds.

Manual captured three individual events and two relays.

Meredith King won the 200 and 500 free, while Leah Reinhardt took the 200 individual medley.

Webb praised Sacred Heart. "Two of those girls are next-door neighbors, and I've coached several of them at Lakeside. I want to win, but I would've been happy if they had."

In other highlights, Model's Kaylin Burchell won the 100 breaststroke and was second in the 200 IM.

"I was confident," said Burchell, a sophomore. "I'd hoped to get the state record, but there was a lot of competition in that race."

Model repeated its fourth-place finish, "our best in quite a while," Cahill said.

Dunbar's Wilson expected a close race in the 50 free.

"Any little thing can cost you the race," said Wilson, who has won the 50 since she was in eighth grade.

"I was a little nervous because the competition was so fast this year. I just tried to keep my nose down and swim fast."