CEC's Suominen swims to state title
Makayla Suominen knew heading into Friday's Class A 50-yard freestyle final that nobody had been within a half-second of her in the preliminaries of the quickest event at the Minnesota high school girls swimming state meet.Still the home-schooled...
Makayla Suominen knew heading into Friday’s Class A 50-yard freestyle final that nobody had been within a half-second of her in the preliminaries of the quickest event at the Minnesota high school girls swimming state meet.
Still the home-schooled sophomore, who competes for Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, suffered from nerves before swimming to first place in a personal-best 23.46 seconds at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
Two previous state meets helped Suominen stay in a routine to handle the nerves.
“After both state meets from previous years I was able to be prepared for all the people, swimmers and fans for this year,” she said via text on the team bus on the ride back to Cloquet. “I kind of knew the ropes for how things work. But I am always nervous when I am down there, and seeing the pool makes me very excited and ready to swim.”
Suominen defeated runner-up Lorelei Gaertner of Visitation by .52 seconds in the final.
“It was mixed emotions,” Suominen said. “Very happy and excited that I had a chance at one of my biggest goals, but also kind of nervous - doubts that I could mess it up.”
Suominen also placed third in the 100 freestyle three events later, finishing in 52.46 - two-tenths better than her preliminary time but well back of winner Kasey Milstroh’s time of 51.02.
The Foley senior won’t be back next season, meaning Suominen could be in line for a double next year and a possible 50 three-peat down the road.
“That’s definitely a goal for me,” she said. “I know I will have to still work very hard for it every year because there are some fast girls coming up behind me. They will push me, and that’s a good thing.”
Hibbing’s Meghan Minne was eighth in the 50 in 53.60 and swam on the Bluejackets’ eighth-place 200 freestyle relay (1:40.74). Grand Rapids senior Amanda Hernesman was 12th in the 1-meter diving competition with 305.70 points.