RUSSIAVILLE — As she left the Indiana University Natatorium after last season’s state swimming finals, Western’s Summer Brown held her head high, holding no regrets after finishing runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle.
Brown was out-touched at the final wall by five one-hundreths of a second by Carmel’s Claire Adams, missing out on being crown a state champion by less than the length of a finger.
And although at the time she said she couldn’t be disappointed with second place, as a true competitor, it’s fueled her preparation ever since.
This weekend, she’ll have a shot at redemption. Winning the vaunted Carmel Sectional in the 200 freestyle to put her squarely in the hunt for a state title in this year’s state finals.
“It’s been in the back of my mind, and it’s helped me push myself even harder when I’m swimming a set that I don’t particularly like or when I’m really tired,” Brown said. “It pushes me to say ‘Ok, you have a goal.’ My goal is to always to swim the best I can. Last year has been a great push for me to work even harder.
“Last year, I took away that this is a very tough meet with tough competition. It’s crazy how fast these girls really are. You pretty much have to have the perfect race and the perfect day.”
Brown has experience on her side. She also qualified for the state finals in the 500 freestyle in last weekend’s sectional, marking the fourth year she’ll swim multiple events at state. She finished 13th in both the 200 and 500 free as a freshman in 2011. She made the podium in the 200 free and 100 free as a sophomore in 2012, finishing fifth and seventh respectively. Along with her second-lace finish in the 200 free a season ago, she also took sixth in the 100 free. She’ll be looking for her fifth and sixth podium finishes this weekend.