Girls swimming | State preview

Chesterton freshman swimmer Wing cashes in on her lone state-qualifying opportunity

2014-02-12T17:00:00Z 2014-02-12T21:15:13Z Chesterton freshman swimmer Wing cashes in on her lone state-qualifying opportunityJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
February 12, 2014 5:00 pm  • 

Aubrey Wing did enough waiting at Saturday's Chesterton Sectional, so she wanted to avoid repeating that process the next day.

The Trojans freshman swimmer competed in just one race, the 100-yard breast finals, and it was 11th of 12 events. She matched the state-cut time of 1:07.08 in the 100 breast and advanced to Friday's state prelims.

Instead of pacing at home and waiting for Sunday's calldown non-automatic-qualifier list to be released, Wing could relax — something she had some difficulty doing at the sectional.

"I knew it was my one chance, and I really wanted it," said Wing, who swam her personal-best time by almost a second. "I was pretty nervous ... I had the whole meet (to wait)."

She fought off some tension listening to music, visualizing her race and cheering on teammates.

"Everyone was also cheering for me, and that really helped me," Wing said. "I knew the (state-cut) time before I even started the race, and then I got it. It was amazing."

She credits sophomore Kelly Craig for providing a lift. Craig broke the sectional record in the race (1:05.86).

"I understood that she was probably going to beat me, because she has more experience," Wing said of Craig. "She pushed me so much."

That boost might have been the difference. The state field in the 100 breast is comprised solely of automatic qualifiers, and she claimed the last spot by two hundreths of a second.

"I was mostly tapered; I had to give it my all," said Wing, who is seeded 24th. "At the beginning of the season, I wasn't sure that I would be able to qualify."

She started the year in the 1:10s, then she placed fourth at the Duneland Athletic Conference meet (1:08.9).

"We needed every point in that meet, so the pressure was on," said Wing, who helped the Trojans edge Crown Point. "That helped me go pretty fast."

Wing has been swimming since she was in first grade, and Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel already knew she had big-meet experience in age-group meets.

"She's definitely a racer," he said. "Part of me is amazed, but then part of me isn't because that's just the way she is. She's stepped up in big meets and started to believe in herself."

Kinel also thinks that confidence comes through working with many of her teammates. The Trojans have five freshmen and two sophomores in individual prelim heats at the IUPUI Natatorium.

"No doubt seeing her peers (qualify for state) helps," Kinel said. "Seeing people who you practice with drop times has got to make you feel like you can do it."

Only the top 16 times qualify for Saturday's finals, and Kinel isn't counting Wing out.

"It's a good bet not to bet against her," Kinel said. "I'm sure she's happy and excited to make it to state, but I'm not sure she's satisfied — and we wouldn't want her to be."

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