Clinton-Massie senior Gracie Storm is ready for her fourth and final trip to the state swim meet.
You’d be hard-pressed, though, to realize Storm is one of the best swimmers in Clinton County history.
“I don’t think of myself as being very fast,” said Storm, who has qualified to the state meet in seven events during her high school career. “I always think of the other swimmers as faster.”
But Storm will be one of the 24 swimmers in both the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke beginning Thursday at the state meet in Canton’s C.T. Branin Natatorium.
That she isn’t likely to blow her own horn comes as no surprise to Clinton-Massie coach Kacie Jenkins.
“She’s a really good team leader,” Jenkins said. “She pretty much guides the whole team. She’s experienced. She’s very humble about everything.”
Storm has been to the state meet all four years in the 500 free. She will be making her third trip to Canton in the 100 backstroke.
“Hopefully I will final (top eight) in both,” she said.
Storm has signed to swim collegiately at the University of Toledo. While also considering Illinois State and Indiana State, Storm said Toledo was really an easy choice.
“I loved it,” Storm said. “I went on a couple other college visits. At Toledo the girls were so nice, they welcomed me. Toledo has a really good education program. I just loved it all.”
Storm said she has room to improve in both events. While her seeding wouldn’t put her in the final heat of either event, she knows where she can cut time.
“Hopefully, I’ll go into (the state) meet improved, knowing what I did wrong,” the CM senior said.
In the 100 back, Storm said her start can be better. He second turn at district wasn’t perfect, so there’s an opportunity to shave time there.
Improving the 500 freestyle is a little tougher at this point in the season. She dropped 15 seconds in the event from the sectional to the district meet. To do that again, would have her in the hunt for a state title.
“I swim pace 50s in practice but it always feels a little different when I swim a pace 50 than when I’m actually swimming it (in a meet),” she said.
At the district meet, Storm posted a sub-60 second first 100 yards but wants to lower that number this week.
“In the 500, I’ll try to go out a little faster I guess,” she said. “And I don’t want to save up as much energy for that last 100.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports
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