Harris just misses advancing to finals

CANTON Close, but no cigar.

Calvert’s Corinne Harris had two chances Thursday night at the Division II State Swimming and Diving Tournament to advance to today’s finals and missing by mere tenths of a second.

The sophomore placed 17th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.24, missing the last spot by .94 seconds. She was the first alternate in the event someone in the top 16 falls out of the competition. Lexington’s Hannah Stevens won the prelims with a time of 49.73

In the 200 freestyle, she was 18th with a time of 1:57.06, which makes her the second alternate for the finals. The top time was registered by Gates Mills Hawken’s Claire Doerr in 1:49.97.

However, the shock of the night was not how she swam but how she placed in both races.

Going in, the focus was on the 200 free because of where she sat coming in, ranked 17th. She said nerves were a factor.

“Before the 200 free I was a bit nervous. It was my first state race ever. And I get up on the block and my nerves are high and everything. I got a late start in 200 free. I was scared I was going to false start. It was not my best time but I’m still happy with it. I only lost one place from where I started out.”

Coach Tori Harris said she didn’t sense any nerves from her daughter but said looking at it in hindsight, the start to the 200 free should have clued her in.

“She definitely had a late start and that’s unusual for her. Usually she’s the first one off the block,” coach Harris said. “When she had that late start, that first 100 was a little slower than where she needed to be to get her best time. But overall, that 200 free being her second best time ever is pretty impressive.”

In the 100 free, she was seeded 22nd coming into the day. So to climb five spots was quite an accomplishment.

“(For) my 100 free, my nerves were way down. I was excited and I get up on the block, have a much better start and took it out really fast,” Harris said. “I knew that I had to get out fast to keep up with the girl next to me. And I moved up five places, 17th now, so I’m happy with that.”

Coach Harris said she was elated with the efforts in the 100 free by her swimmer.

“I was very proud of her to come back after losing a spot in that 200, hoping to keep her 17th even maybe even make 16th,” coach Harris said. “To come back in the mind frame of ‘just go for it’ in 100 and take it out as hard as she could. To come back and move up five spots just showed the focus she had.”

The ever-smiling Harris said she now knows what she needs to do to make it to the finals next year.

“I just know in my mindset now what I need to swim next year to make it top 16 and how much harder I have to work,” Harris said. “I mean I worked hard this year but how much harder I have work to make top 16 next year.”