Gabby Sims brings home another state title for Downers North swimming
|Gabby Sims celebrates her 100-yard freestyle title at the 2012 IHSA state swim meet Nov. 17 at Evanston High School. Her time in the finals was the second-fastest in state history. Photo courtesy of Joe Cacciatore/submitted by Jan Sims.|
Gabby Sims went into the state meet as the top seed in the 100-yard freestyle.
The junior left Saturday’s meet at Evanston High School just as she entered, taking home the state title in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.57, nearly a second better than the 50.53 that made her a sectional champion the previous week.
"It was really cool," Sims said of her state title. "I kind of went into the meet with the goal of going under 50 (seconds). When I looked up at my time, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life."
The freestyle win marks the junior's second individual state title after she won the 100 backstroke last November. This time around, Sims was again one of the top seeds in the backstroke and posted a second-place time of 54.02. It was the third fastest time ever at the state meet. In the backstroke finals, Glenbrook South's Olivia Smoliga shattered the state meet and national records with a time of 51.43 seconds.
"That was a really big surprise. I did not expect that at all," Sims said of her time in the backstroke final. "(Olivia) was so close to 50. In a way it felt like I was first because I knew she was going to be so fast and would probably win that it was like she didn't even count. It was fun swimming against her."
Sims' freestyle swim was very nearly a record. Her finals time and prelim time (49.65) were good for the second- and third-fastest times ever. (Video of the 100 freestyle race here). Smoliga clocked a 48.88 in the 100 freestyle prelims last fall.
Three other all-state (top-12) finishes in addition to Sims’ swims put the Trojans sixth in the team standings with 73 points. New Trier (166) held off Fenwick (157) for the team title.
Sims ended up taking home four state medals.
In the last race of the meet, Maddy Sims, Emily Albrecht, Hannah Kaufmann and Gabby Sims placed fourth in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:29.41. In the 200 medley relay, it was Gabby Sims, Gaby Serniute, Daria Wick and Albrecht placing fifth in 1:44.93.
Albrecht earned a solo state medal by placing 11th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.03
Kaufmann was the only senior to swim at state for North, who is poised to return both Sims, who are juniors, and current sophomores Wick, Serniute and Albrecht.
"We have a very young team," Sims said. "We have one senior that swam (at state). Otherwise, the rest of the team is coming back, and I think we're only going to get better."
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