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Morton and Brown have success at state meet in Louisville

Multiple Winchester Sailfish members competed in the 12-and-under Long Course State Meet on July 22-24.

Clara Jane Morton of Winchester placed fifth in the 10-and-under 50 backstroke and tied for 12th in the 50 freestyle.

Lena Brown of Richmond also competed in the meet and finished third in the 50 breaststroke and fourth in the 100 breaststroke.

Morton said she was surprised in her strong finish in Louisville.

“I am very proud of myself,” she said. “I did not think I would qualify by myself. When I heard my teammate broke her foot I did not think I would get a medal. This is my first year doing meets and it was my first state long course meet. I had doubted my swimming abilities, but when actually I qualified I figured out that I was good at the stroke.”

Brown said the meet in Louisville was her best performance that she has had so far.

“That was probably the best meet yet that I have done this season,” she said.

Morton said she is going to use her recent success to motivate herself to continue competing hard.

“I am going push myself so I can qualify next year,” she said. “I want to try and make it to zone.”

Brown said she will think back on this event to inspire herself.

“I am going to think about how well I did this season,” she said. “I think that will motivate me to keep swimming and get faster.”

Morton said her family and her coaching staff has had a big impact on her swimming success.

“My coach pushes me really hard,” she said. “He helps me tell myself to give it all I have each time I swim so I always keeps what he tells me in mind. My mom helps through everything too. When I went back to swimming after surgery, I could not do practice because it was hard to breathe when I was in the water. She told me I did not have to swim until I was ready to go back so she has supported me through everything.”

Brown agreed and said her coach pushes her to do her best.

“Mavi is a really good coach,” she said. “He has taught me a lot of things I did not know. He has taught me a lot of techniques that I use and they actually work. He always knows what he is talking about so anytime he gives me advice I listen to him.”

Morton said she loves swimming because she loves how unique it is.

“I love being out in the water,” she said. “It is different than other sports and requires different abilities. You never know what to expect or know the results it may bring.”

Brown said she swims because she loves the competition.

“I like to win,” she said. “I love all the fun that we have and the laughs we share. It brings us all together.”

Morton said she wants to increase her speed each meet and is determined to do so.

“I want to be faster and make better times each time,” she said. “I want to keep qualifying for state.”

Brown said she also wants to become faster as her swimming career continues.

“I want to keep getting faster at certain events,” she said. “Some goals I have are I want to make zones. I might make it next year so I am just going to keep working hard to do that.”