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LOUISVILLE - Swimming her best time ever, North Bullitt junior Caroline Lee finished third on Saturday in the Girls’ 100-yard breaststroke at the Kentucky State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Ralph Wright Natatorium on the University of Louisville campus.
Lee struggled just a little in the preliminaries on Friday, finishing fourth in a time of 1:06.52. Still, that was plenty fast enough to move into Saturday’s championship race which had eight swimmers.
On Saturday, Lee was in third at the halfway mark and then swam the second fastest final 50 yards, but she could not catch the two Sacred Heart swimmers who she had split between a week earlier in the regional final. Her first split was a time of 31.29 and she came home in 34.51 for a total of 1:05.80, the first time she had ever been under 1:06.
The winner was Miranda Mercke with a time of 1:04.99 while Elly Faulkner was just ahead of Lee in 1:05.63. Mercke is a sophomore at Sacred Heart while Faulkner is a junior.
“I was thrilled for Caroline to win third place because she broke the 1:-6 mark for the first time in her swimming career,” Bullitt County swim coach Laura Flischel said. “While Caroline obviously wanted to win first, she seemed really pleased with third place as well given her remarkable time.”
Lee had finished second to Faulkner in the regional final a week earlier in 1:06.30 in the final and 1:06.11 in the preliminaries. Mercke had been third..
Lee also competed in the 200-yard individual medley over the weekend and reached the consolation final where she ended up finishing 11th overall in a time of 2:10.55. That was well off the pace of winner Ellen Williamson of Notre Dame Academy in a time of 2:01.14.
The two finishes by Lee gave North Bullitt 22 team points which tied for 17th overall in the team race. Sacred Heart won the state title with a resounding 425.5 points.
The performance by Lee was good enough to early her second-team All-State honors.
This was the second year for Lee at the state championships after she moved to the area from Texas. She swims competitively at Lakeside.