Kaylee Brawner’s first appearance at the Class 4A Swimming and Diving Meet resulted in a sixth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle for the Granbury High freshman.
Brawner clocked a time of 24.66 seconds in the finals. She had posted a career-best time of 24.24 in the preliminaries to move into the finals seeded fourth.
Brawner came into the meet seeded ninth after winning the Region II Meet in Mansfield. She also won gold at the District 7-4A Meet.
“I am really happy with how far I came this season,” said Brawner, who is the first girl from Granbury to compete at state since Seabre Pope in 2008.
Brawner said the strategy for state changed slightly from previous workouts. She said it involved more tapering, that is hard workouts at the beginning and more relaxed workouts as the meet drew closer.
“I was all pumped up and full of energy,” she said with a smile.
“Kaylee did an amazing job at her first state meet,” said Granbury coach Nick Vollmer, himself a former three-time state qualifier for GHS.
“She went into a high pressure situation and pulled off a best time during prelims. The next day she swam her second-best time.”
Brawner finished ahead of three girls who had entered the meet seeded ahead of her.
“The 50 free is a race full of extremely muscular girls, so watching Kaylee move up like that based purely on her technique and competitive spirit makes me extremely proud of her,” Vollmer added.
Brawner said she is already making plans for a return trip to Austin, and so is her coach – and others.
“Kaylee’s success has truly inspired the team, and I’d bet we bring a lot more kids to state to swim with her next year,” Vollmer said.