Fresh off setting a Section III record in the 100-yard freestyle, Liverpool girls swimmer Madeline Murphy lined herself up against the best in New York during last weekend’s state championship meet at Ithaca College.
During the preliminary round in the 50 freestyle on Friday, Murphy, a sophomore, zoomed to a time of 23.99 seconds, putting her in third place, trailing only Pittsford’s Katie Smith (23.52 seconds) and Clarence’s Dina Rommel (23.66 seconds) going into the finals.
Then it was on to the 100 freestyle, where Murphy improved upon her record efforts, getting to 52.29 seconds, which again put her in third as Niskayuna’s Kina Zhou (51.14 seconds) and Smith (51.60 seconds) battled for top honors.
Once in the championship round on Saturday, Murphy got to 23.67 seconds in the 50 freestyle, giving her All-American consideration and an overall fourth-place finish.
It was a tight race, with Rommel prevailing in 23.32 seconds, Smith in second (23.37 seconds) and Honeoye Falls-Lima’s Cari Stankaitis (23.59 seconds) edging out Murphy for third.
Then, in the 100 freestyle championship race, Murphy could not match her qualifying effort, but her time of 52.57 seconds still meant a spot on the podium in fifth place.
Zhou flattened the field, her time of 50.14 seconds setting a new state record (the hold mark was 50.53) by a considerable margin for a sprint race.