Andrea Hill found it difficult simply to sit and watch the senior girls 100-yard breaststroke at the Missouri Valley Div. I swimming championships Saturday at KU's Robinson Natatorium.
"It was kinda hard," said Hill, a Lawrence High sophomore and Lawrence Aquahawk. "I think I had a chance to win it. I might have had a chance to set the Missouri Valley record. But I'll sacrifice that to go to nationals."
Last week at a Region VIII meet in Carbondale, Ill., Hill earned a spot in the upcoming National Junior Championships. She's the first Aquahawk to qualify for the national meet.
"That's been a big goal of mine all year," Hill said. "I started the year out slow. I got an injury from running cross country and this winter I didn't do very well. But my coach gave me a little pep talk. It gave me a positive attitude. I think that really helped."
THE NATIONAL qualifying time is 1:07.79. Hill swam 1:07.37 in Carbondale, but she decided to pass on the 100 breaststroke Saturday. The National Junior meet will be March 26-30 in Milwaukee.
"I was signed up for the 100 because I didn't know if I'd be going to nationals," Hill said. "But my coach told me not to swim it here because I might psyche myself out. This weekend I really wasn't prepared to swim it."
Hill was prepared enough to join Vanessa Hill, Jeanne Poggio and Sandra Archer in winning the senior girls 400 medley relay Saturday. The Aquahawk team finished in 4:12.13.
Those four are among seven Aquahawks who will also swim on this year's LHS team. Last year, the Lions won their second straight state title and they return all but state diving champion Kenna Harrell.
"I think that we'll give the team a big boost," Andrea Hill said. "I think we'll have the most depth we've ever had. We should be really strong."
LAST SEASON, Hill swam on the state championship 200 medley relay team and finished second at state in the 100 breaststroke.
"Last year was really good experience for me," she said. "One thing I'm really looking forward to is I want to win state and set the state record. I've already done that, but it doesn't count because it wasn't at the state meet."
The three-day meet was scheduled to conclude today. Prelims were to begin at 9 a.m. at both Robinson and LHS Knox pool. Finals were scheduled to begin about 5 p.m. at Robinson.
Through Saturday, the KC Blazers led the team scoring with 1,994 points. Wichita Swim Club was second with 941 points, followed by the Clay-Platte Y Piranhas with 611 and the Aquahawks with 400.
Among today's scheduled participants is 16-year-old Janie Wagstaff, a member of the Blazers. Wagstaff owns the third-fastest time in the world in the 100 backstroke.