Brown’s times in the finals were good enough to earn her All-American honors in both events, further putting into perspective the competition on display Saturday.
“Her places were a little bit short of what her goals were, but her times are better than we’d ever hoped. In all, it’s a successful day,” Western coach Brad Bennett said. “Championships would’ve been nice, but as a coach, how can you ask anything more from a person? What a tremendous effort on her part.”
Brown finishes her prep career with six podium finishes in the eight events in which she competed over four state finals appearances. She finished fifth in the 200 free and seventh in the 100 free as a sophomore, before finishing as the runner-up in the 200 free and sixth in the 100 free last year as a junior.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Brown said. “High school state is so much fun. The energy here is great. You can hear the people screaming, and you’re able to soak it all in and it’s a wonderful feeling. But at the same time, college is a huge deal for me. I’m so excited to be swimming at Vanderbilt and in the SEC. I’m ready to compete in that conference. So, anchor down.”
To Bennett, she’s had an immeasurable impact on the Panthers’ program. She leaves after having a hand in five school records, and along with her state finals success, takes her place among the program’s all-time greats alongside her brother Teddy, a two-time state champion and 2003 mental-attitude winner, and Kylee Wells, the 2000 diving state champion.
“What a phenomenal career. She’s pretty special,” Bennett said of Summer. “She’s the most decorated girls swimmer in school history, only because Kylee, being a diver, didn’t have a chance to compete in two events every state meet. To the program itself, I’d like to think all the girls are going to look up at those times on the wall and say ‘I’m going to beat those.’ But, those 200 and 500 times are pretty fast. She’s meant a lot to the program. Times aside, our teams wouldn’t have been what they were without her setting the tone and showing her teammates what it means to act like a champion and prepare to be your best when it matters.”