WINNETKA – McHenry's Michaela Matthys did not want to leave the girls swimming state finals with any regrets. Her strategy was to go as hard as she could for as long as she could in the 100-yard butterfly.
The strategy worked for 75 yards, but she was unable hold the pace and finished tied for 13th place in 57.42 seconds. It was the second-fastest 100 fly she had ever swum, topped only by the 56.82 less than a week ago at sectionals.
The top six advance to the championship finals and seventh through 12th places swim in the consolation finals Saturday. Matthys was less than two-tenths of a second from making the consolation finals.
Matthys set a blistering pace at the start and had the second fastest 50-yard split in 25.77.
"I knew I had to go out. It was the fastest I've ever gone out," Matthys said. "I wasn't able to bring it back."
Matthys was visibly fatigued at 75 yards, did not have a crisp turn and was not able to pick up any momentum from her underwater push.
"That last turn was hard for me to keep going," Matthys said.
At sectionals, Matthys swam her second 50 in 30.15 seconds. At state, her time was 31.65.
"I was worried that it was so fast at the start," McHenry coach Mike Shanahan said. "When you go out that fast it's probably not going to be a good ending.
Cary-Grove's Melissa Rose sat at the edge of the pool after her 100 breaststroke, partly watching the 400 freestyle relay but mostly with her head in her hands.
She finished 26th with a time of 1:06.15. It was not the way she wanted to finish state.
Rose looked strong in the first 50, and her midway split of 30.46 was nearly identical to her sectional split when she swam 1:05.44.
Trojans coach Scott Lattyak said in the last half of the race Rose just didn't look like her usual self. Breaststroke is a finesse, not a power stroke and sometimes doesn't benefit from extra effort.
"[Rose's] strokes looked a little too short," Lattyak said of her second 50. "I think she was trying a little too hard."
Lattyak said one of the toughest things for Rose in swimming at state is that she doesn't have the support of her teammates. With a strong freshman class this year, Lattyak is hoping Rose has some company on deck next year.
"It's just her," Lattyak said. "It's hard for her to get that extra little psych. I'm hoping that's one of the key things that changes for our team."
One thing is for sure. Lattyak knows that the setback will not deter Rose from working hard.
"[Rose is] definitely a determined swimmer," Lattyak said. "I know she's going to go back to her club team with a vengeance. She wants it.