Gabi Albiero Eclipses State Record, Sacred Heart Claims Seventh-Straight Kentucky Girls Championship

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Photo Courtesy: Sacred Heart Sports Twitter (@sha_sports)

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The 2019 Kentucky Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at University of Louisville’s Ralph Wright Natatorium in Louisville, Ky.

Sacred Heart dominated the field, using their impressive depth to finish first for the seventh-consecutive season. They earned their 30th title in program history with a final score of 568 en route to shattering their previous record point total of 520.5.

Christian Academy’s Gabi Albiero set the lone Kentucky state record of this meet, eclipsing her own 50 free mark by .01.

Click HERE for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

  1. Sacred Heart – 568
  2. Dixie Heights – 139
  3. duPont Manual – 117
  4. Louisville Collegiate School -114
  5. Assumption – 105.5

Sacred Heart’s Annabel Crush (24.98), Claire Donan (28.51), Emily Lenihan (24.54) and Allison Bauer (22.85) began the meet by winning the 4×50 medley relay in 1:40.88, just off their own state record of 1:40.61 set in 2016. Louisville Collegiate School was a distant second in 1:46.39 and duPont Manual was third in 1:46.72.

Cal commit Rachel Klinker of Tates Creekcruised to first in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:47.34 for the win by one full second. Dixie Heights’ Kenady Beil also broke the 1:50 mark in 1:48.34 for second while Sacred Heart’s Mackenzie Lanning finished third in 1:50.44.

Not too long after leading off the winning medley relay, Crush was back in the water to crush the competition by taking first in the 200 IM with a time of 1:59.23 as the only swimmer to break two minutes. It was a Sacred Heart sweep as Donan took second in 2:02.80 followed by Madeline Meredith (2:04.10) for third.

Future Louisville Cardinal Albiero splashed-and-dashed her way to first place in the 50 free with a time of 22.63, eclipsing her own Kentucky state record of 22.64 she set at this meet last season. 23.05 was fast enough for Assumption’s Ella Welch to finish second and Ballard’s Emma Hixenbaugh finished third in 23.51.

Van McKinley of Henry Clay dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 473.40 for the win. Campbell County’s Marian Tiemeier was second with 449.35 points while Madison Southern’s Flanary Patterson dove to third with a total score of 446.05.

Albiero flew to the top of the podium for the second time of the night, this time getting her hands to the wall the fastest in the 100 fly with a time of 53.12 in her future home pool. Lenihan (54.25) and Beil (54.29) finished second and third, respectively.

After taking second in the 50 free, Welch redeemed herself by winning the 100 free in 49.94 as the only athlete in the race to crack the 50-second barrier. Louisville Collegiate School’s Krista Wheeler raced to second in 50.79 and Hixenbaugh sprinted to third in 51.50.

Klinker added the 500 free gold medal to match her hardware from the 200 free earlier, winning by two seconds in a final time of 4:52.11. Dixie Heights’ Selina Reil powered home in 4:54.87 for the runner-up spot and third beelonged to Atherton’s Eden Humphrey in 4:56.40.

Meredith (23.41), Karson Dickinson (23.68), Caroline Pape (23.99) and Mary McAtee (23.71) combined to give Sacred Heart another relay win by claiming first in the 4×50 free relay with a combined time of 1:34.79. Louisville Collegiate School (1:36.65) and Christian Academy (1:36.70) completed the podium.

Crush collected another addition to her growing hardware collection, powering home to another individual gold medal in the 100 back with a time of 53.02. Wheeler earned the silver in 53.33 while Meredith secured the bronze by finishing the race in 54.39.

After taking second in the 200 IM, Donan, who has verbally committed to Michigan, found herself in the top spot by getting her hands to the wall the fastest in the 100 breast with a quick 1:01.97. Bowling Green’s Sam Sutton (1:03.65) and duPont Manual’s Anna Hogan (1:04.35) completed the top three finishers.

Sacred Heart completed the relay sweep and secure their team title as the 4×100 free relay squad of Crush (50.68), Lenihan (50.66), Bauer (50.40) and Donan (51.11) concluded the meet in 3:22.85, just shy of their own 2014 state record of 3:22.79. Assumption was the runner-up in 3:33.27 and Dixie Heights took third in 3:34.24.

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