Ashlynn Baker sets school record in 200 free


Jessica Bender


About a week ago, varsity swimmer Ashlynn Baker broke the school record for the 200 freestyle, with a time of 1:56.89, a huge triumph. Coach Scott Lattyak says it’s over a second faster than the previous record.

“I finally went under two minutes, which is what I’ve been trying to do all season, so that was exciting,” Baker said. “I really don’t care if I win at sectionals. I’m just trying to get the state time.”

Even with her new school record, at sectionals she unfortunately didn’t drop the second and a half she needed to qualify for state.

“She beat the old pool record by over a second and it’s crazy to think that the cut times for state get faster, because the previous swimmer that got that record made it to state with that time,” Coach Lattyak said. “Now, you can see that the state cut times are faster and even though she is well below our team record, the time wasn’t good enough to qualify her for state this year.”

While Baker didn’t achieve the goal she had in mind, sectionals were still a success for the team.

“Overall, sectionals was pretty good,” Coach Lattyak said. “We had a lot of best times. Not everyone swam their best times; some of them did their best times at conference. I know those particular athletes were a little bit disappointed. They were trying to get their state times there. But overall we did very well.”

Sophomore Kaci Brisco was one of the swimmers who was pleased with her performance after she shaved more than a second off her relay time at sectionals.

“I got in for my 50 free[style] in the last leg of the 200 medley relay and it just went by so fast because it’s a fast event,” Kaci Brisco said. “I got out and I looked at the scoreboard and I saw that my time was 26:60, and I just jumped for joy, and I hugged all of my relay members and my teammates on the way to go talk to my coach. Dropping a whole second in the 50 free is really hard to do, and being able to do it makes me realize that I can drop more time as long as I’m working hard and believing in myself.”

It’s that hard work that Coach Lattyak applauds as he talks about the girls’ state times.

“It shows you how challenging this sport continues to get,” he said. “The kids keep on embracing that though, and they keep on pushing to become even faster, and so I give them a lot of respect for what they do, because it’s a hard sport. It’s very competitive, and yet they still are striving to become the best athlete they can be.”

Despite no one making it to state, Coach Lattyak was optimistic when talking about the season.

“It was a good season. Very rewarding,” he said. “We’ve got a good bunch of girls that really enjoy working hard and work well together. I think now after this season, they were slightly disappointed with not getting any cut times, I think they’re going to be even more driven next year, to really try and accomplish greater feats.”