Wednesday, Feb. 20 2013 8:16AM
By Stephanie Yeagle
Lee’s Summit North freshman Haley Hynes was seeded first in two events going into the MSHSAA Girls’ State Swimming Championships Feb. 15-16 at St. Peters Rec-Plex.
And while she was confident, Hynes didn’t take her seeding for granted.
“I have heard a lot of stories about how people go in and they drop a lot of time from their seed time so I wasn’t too sure about that,” Hynes said. “I just went and tried my best and that’s what came out.”
What came out was two gold medals, in the 200-yard IM and in the 100-yard backstroke.
“I definitely think it’s a big honor,” she said. “It’s just something I did for my school. I definitely thought that I would have some competition, but I didn’t know that I would come out with the two first-place medals.”
Hynes blew past the competition in the 200-yard IM, taking first with a time of 2 minutes, 4.76 seconds, over a second ahead of the second-place finisher. Then she finished the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 55.11 seconds, just over a second away from breaking the state record of 54.09.
“I think I’m going to work on some other events,” Hynes said. “But I’m going to try to go for the state record in the 100 back.”
Hynes has been swimming for 10 years, which has helped her hone her skills in all four strokes.
“I think the IM, it’s something you can just show off your four strokes and you can really standout,” she said. “Not everyone can do that. But with the backstroke, it’s something that I just really like. And that’s what helps me in my IM.”
Hynes’ medals helped her team earn an 11th place finish with a score of 86 points.
“They were definitely proud,” she said of her teammates. “One of my friends was about to cry when I won the IM. They were definitely really proud of me. They are really sweet and I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”
Bronco senior teammate Felicia Bender took 13th place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:00.45, followed by senior Karlee Benefiel in 15th with a time of 1:01.61. Sophomore Nicole Voss placed 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.75.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Hynes, Bender, Benefiel and junior Kristin Herrick placed sixth with a time of 1:51.77 and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Bender, Benefiel, Hynes and junior Jennifer Gray took 12th with a time of 3:42.47.
Lee’s Summit West took 33rd as a team with 11 points, led by senior medalist Nina Privatera, who finished in eighth place in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 377.2 points.