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Waddell has banner day at state swim meet

Tevyn Waddell is no stranger to having success in the pool, but over the weekend, the 15-year-old swimmer surprised herself.

The Mitchell Aquatic Club swimmer won five state titles and the Short Course State Swim Championships and broke five meet records and two state records in the process.

“I have never broken a lot of state meet records,” Waddell said. “Seven records is kind of a lot. I am pretty impressed. I wasn’t expecting to break as many records as I did.”

Waddell won and set records in the 400-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle, 200 IM, 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. Waddell also took second in the 200 backstroke and the 100 freestyle.

At 15, Waddell is on the younger end of the girls’ age group. She moved into the age group this summer and has since competed with 16-year-olds.

“I was a little nervous because a lot of the girls I normally compete against weren’t there,” Waddell said. “When I was younger, I saw the younger girls beating the older girls and I always wanted to do that, so I guess you can say it has always been a goal of mine.”

One of the driving factors behind the swimmer’s improvement was her experience at U.S. Junior Nationals in December in Greensboro, N.C. Waddell said the meet was an eye-opening experience.

“I think junior nationals made me realize that South Dakota isn’t as fast as everyone thinks,” she said. “It really made me focus on getting better and working harder.”

While the state championships may have ended, Waddell’s season still continues. She is headed to Pleasant Prairie, Wis., on March 13 to compete in sectionals. There she will swim the 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly and two relays.

Other Mitchell Aquatic Club swimmers with top five finishes at the state meet were Karlie Brown (girls 15-16), Cailey Scott (girls 13-14), Karlie Brown (girls 15-16), Brynn Palmer (girls 11-12) and Ethan Huber (boys 13-14).

Brown took second place in the girls 400 IM, fourth in the 800 freestyle and fifth in the 400 freestyle. Scott took second in the girls 200 freestyle, third in the 200 backstroke and fourth in the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Palmer was third in the girls 200 freestyle and backstroke, while Huber finished fifth in the boys 400 IM, 200 backstroke and 800 freestyle.