National Junior Team Member Leah Hayes Sets Pair of Records at Illinois States


National Junior Team Member Leah Hayes Sets Pair of Records at Illinois States

Kaneland High School’s Leah Hayes, a member of the United States National Junior Team, captured a pair of titles during Saturday’s Illinois High School Championships. Hayes, who recently represented Team USA in FINA World Cup competition in Europe, claimed state crowns in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 freestyle.

Only a sophomore, Hayes picked up her first gold medal in the 200 medley, where she touched the wall in 1:56.38. In prelims, Hayes was timed in 1:56.62, marking the first time an Illinois high school swimmer broke the two-minute barrier in the event. Second place in the medley went to Nina Mollin in 2:01.83. Hayes also won the 100 freestyle, going 48.34 for another state record. Hayes was challenged in the 100 freestyle, with the silver medal going to Carly Novelline of New Trier in 49.02.

Hayes had a strong showing at the United States Olympic Trials last summer in Omaha. In addition to advancing to the semifinal round and placing 10th in the 200-meter individual medley with a mark of 2:12.89, Hayes was 11th in the 400 individual medley. Hayes was timed in 4:44.55 in the longer medley.

Although still in the early stages of her career, Hayes has been recognized by Sports Illustrated and has established several National Age Group records. She is one of the top recruits in the Class of 2024.

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