Fallon Ryan was able to get her feet wet.
The Brainerd Warriors freshman finished 20th in the 200-yard freestyle and 18th in the 500 freestyle in her first Class 2A state swimming meet Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
Ryan, who entered the 200 free with the 23rd fastest time, swam close to the same time and still moved up three spots to finish 20th.
“She handled herself really well,” said Warriors head coach Dan Anderson. “It’s quite an environment and everyone is very fast. She may have gotten nervous before her swim, but she swam the same time that she did at sections.
“The 500 was a tough race because there were so many swimmers faster than her in her heat. She had to keep up with them and she handled that well.”
Ryan said she had to stay mentally focused in both of her events. The key was to swim her own race.
“It was a really good experience, but it was hectic at first and a little nerve wracking being down there by myself and all these other people are with their teams,” said Ryan. “I had to do my own warm ups alone.
“During the race I just had to swim my race, but it was different because I had to keep up with them. Everyone else had a way faster time than me, but I didn’t want to die at the end so I had to go my speed.”
Ryan finished the 500 free in 5:22.00
Ryan said the 500 was a little easier to prepare for because she had already swam an event, but she would like nothing more than to swim them both again next year.
“This just helped me realize that there are a tone of really good swimmers and I hope to make it back next year,” Ryan said.
200 freestyle: 1- Fallon Ryan (Brainerd)
500 freestyle: 1- Ryan (Brainerd)
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.