Lawrence High swimmer Jessica Boyer doesn’t know exactly what makes some of her teammates and competitors fear the 100-yard butterfly. But of all 12 events at swim meets, she senses the fly generates the most anxiety.
“A lot of people are really terrified of it,” Boyer, an LHS senior, said. “Everybody thinks it’s the hardest stroke. I just think it’s fun. I like the rhythm of it.”
It showed Tuesday afternoon, when Boyer dominated the field by seven seconds at the Lawrence High Invite with a winning time of 1:03.23. The Lions finished second in the four-team meet at LHS.
“I wish I posted my best time,” Boyer said of her 1:00.08. “But I was pretty satisfied. The race felt good to me.”
Boyer, who has been swimming for 12 years, said it took her at least four years to get to the point where she could race in the fly at an elite prep level.
In addition to winning the fly, Boyer also won the 200 IM on Tuesday.
“She’s been leading by example in practice and in meets,” LHS coach Kent McDonald said of Boyer. “We have a lot of young girls who had never been to a swim meet. They see her, and the hope is they realize what it takes.”
One Lawrence High freshman seems to have a pretty good idea already.
Heather Cistola obliterated the field in the 500 free, posting a personal-best and state-qualifying time of 5:18.55. Cistola was already qualified for state, but improved her qualifying time Tuesday.
The second-place swimmer didn’t finish until 6:54.61.
“That’s pretty significant because that will be one of the best times in the state in the 500,” McDonald said. “Hopefully, that will be in the top eight (at state).”
Cistola also won the 200 free (2:02.24).
The Lions scored two relay victories (200 medley, 400 free).
Lawrence ended up with 391 points, finishing runner-up to Topeka High (407). Leavenworth placed third (229), and Topeka West took fourth (203).
“I kind of wish we could win a meet this year,” Boyer said. “This was our best hope. We have a very small team (15 swimmers, four divers). It’s the smallest team in the four years since I’ve been here. But everyone tried their hardest. I think we did really well and didn’t give up.”
The Lions will take part in the Free State Invite at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.