They have been there before and they have a plan to do better.
Deerfield High School swimmers Barbara Brottman and Ruby Powell stood on the medal platform a year ago at the State Meet in one event each. This year they want to ascend twice with a brighter medal.
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Diver Christine Stitcher competed in the preliminary rounds a year ago but on Saturday had to sit and watch teammate Erin Purdy win the state title. This year she wants a medal of her own.
All three have a solid strategy to fulfill their dreams at this year’s State Finals Friday and Saturday in Evanston.
For Stitcher the strategy will be building a strong point total in her eight Friday dives—the two-day scoring is cumulative—to put her in a solid position for Saturday. Powell and Brottman have strictly adhered to Coach John Sullivan’s training program including the taper heading into State.
“The taper is really starting to make a difference” Brottman said as the senior prepares for her fourth consecutive State Meet.
Brottman To Compete in 200 and 500-yard Freestyle
Brottman will compete in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events. In 2011 she was eighth in the 200 and did not make the finals in the 500. She is currently seeded 10th in the 500 and 15th in the 200. She is not concerned about the seeding. Some of her competitors tapered for the Sectional Meet a week ago.
“My goal is to get to 1:51 (in the 200) and hopefully that will put me in the top 12,” Brottman said. A year ago that time would have earned her fourth place. “I want to go under 5:00 (in the 500),” she added hoping for a few seconds less. In 2011, that would have been good for at least eighth.
Powell will race the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. She was 10th in the backstroke last season and also has a plan to medal in both events. She currently stands 30th among the freestylers only one second out of sixth. She has the sixth best backstroke time.
“Friday it’s about the times and Saturday it’s about hitting the wall,” Powell said referring to the strategy when the two tapered Warriors hit the water Friday and Saturday. A top six time Friday gives an athlete the opportunity to swim for the title Saturday.
Stitcher Aim for Consistency
Diving is a different type of competition. Stitcher is one of 50 divers who will start the competition Friday. After five dives, the field will be cut to 16. Those athletes will dive three more times with the top 12 scores advancing to the championship round. Consistency is her goal.
“There are a lot of good divers who will miss dives,” Stitcher said. “I want to be comfortable and consistent. I know I’m in a good position.” The 12 finalists will dive only three more times Saturday so their score will be more than 70 percent complete for the finals.
Stitcher is confident in her repertoire. “The goal is to get to the finals,” she said. “I’m going to put everything out there. I’m going to keep everything clear and consistent.”
Powell will also join Becca Rosenberg, Mallory Lynn and Marcy Kreda in the 200 medley relay Friday. Potential alternates making the trip are Maddie Wilson, Lauren Kurzyzlo and Haley Seldin.