Herricks and Manhasset swimmers and divers medal at state meet

Herricks and Manhasset swimmers and divers medal at state meet
(left to right) Katie Yee, Isabella Chang, Natalie Wu and Kailey Simons of Herricks HS competed at the N.Y. state meet on Saturday, Nov. 19. Photo courtesy of Danielle Sullivan

Do you know how short a length of time two-hundredths of a second is?

It’s quicker than the blink of an eye, less time than it takes to snap your fingers, and Saturday morning at the New York State swimming and diving championships in Webster (outside Rochester), it was the agonizing difference between a state title and second place for Herricks’ Kailey Simons.

The outstanding senior swimmer came oh-so-close to her first individual title, missing out on a 50 freestyle win, with Angelina McKane of Corning swimming a 23.56, and Simons right behind at 23.58.

If her fingernails had been just a little bit longer…

“I was surprised that I got second, so when I saw my time I was really happy,” Simons said. “And then I saw how close it was to winning and I was like, ‘Ohhh,” she said, laughing. “But it was still great, just to get that close and to get second.”

Simons, who had to miss last year’s state meet due to injuries to both shoulders, said she was thrilled to compete at this level again “and to swim the times I wanted.”

The 50-free race was incredibly close, with five swimmers finishing within .25 of each other.

“None of us had any idea who had won until we looked at the scoreboard, because all five of them touched at basically the same time,” said Herricks coach Danielle Sullivan. “So proud of the team and Kailey with how well she competed.”

Simons’ second place in the 50 free was an outstanding result on a day filled with them for Herricks, which finished third in team points at the meet.

Shortly after her 50 free runner-up performance, Simons snared another second-place finish, coming in second in the 100 backstroke in 55.92.

“It was my only second state meet so to get two seconds is really exciting,” Simons said. “I wanted to swim my best times and I did it so it was a great way to finish (my career).”

“Kailey is usually pretty reserved, pretty calm and not that excited after her races,” Sullivan said. “But after her races (Saturday) she was just beaming from ear to ear, huge smile on her face. It was wonderful to see.”

Simons’ senior teammate, Katie Yee, also excelled for the second straight year at states. Yee snagged a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly, swimming it in 55.77, and a fifth place mark in the 200 individual medley, in a time of 2:05.68.
“The competition for the 200 IM was faster overall this year,” Yee said. About one half of the pool was ahead by a significant amount, If I had a little more time to prepare and could come back next year, I think I could do better. But I was very excited with my butterfly time.”
The two Herricks seniors also helped their team to a pair of fourth-place finishes in relay events. Combining with teammates freshman Natalie Wu and sophomore Isabella Chang, Herricks finished fourth in both the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

While Simons and Yee are finished with their scholastic careers, two Manhasset competitors, both freshmen, showed they’re threats to win state titles in future years. Manhasset swimmer Samantha Anderson was very impressive as she impressively nabbed two Top-6 finishes Saturday. Anderson placed fourth in the 500 freestyle, in 5:01.76, and sixth in the 200 free in 1:54.16.

Manhasset freshman diver Victoria Wang snagged a third-place finish for her team, scoring a 530.15 in the 1-meter competition.

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