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Published: Saturday, 2/23/2002

State swimming: Carroll captures 50 free for Eagles


CANTON - The start ... the turn ... the stroke. There are so many things to worry about and so little time in the 50-yard freestyle.

Notre Dame Academy junior Katie Carroll didn't have to worry about any of them, however, as she swam to a championship finish in the sprint event at the girls and boys state swimming and diving championships at the C.T. Branin Natatorium last night.

“I don't think there was pressure on me to win it again,” she said. “I think I had confidence because I had won it before.

“I think if you want something badly enough, you can get it.”

Carroll had already collected a third-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley in front of a packed house of more than 2,200 as she alone earned 36 points for Notre Dame, which finished the night in third place among DivisionI girls teams with 88 points.

Cincinnati Ursuline Academy and Upper Arlington led the field with 148 and 103 points, respectively.

Carroll had help from her teammates as Susan Johnson and Ellen Johnson placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the girls 200 freestyle with times of 1:52.56 and 1:54.03. Ellen Johnson also placed 11th in the 100 butterfly, while Susan Johnson and teammates Kitsie Kerner, Mary Katherine Harr and Michelle Silva placed ninth in the 200 medley relay. Kerner rounded out the individual placers for Notre Dame with a 12th-place finish in the 100 butterfly.

While Katie might have the Carroll family bragging rights for the time being, her older brother Pat put St. Francis de Sales on the scoreboard yesterday. Pat, a senior, placed sixth in the boys 200 freestyle.

St. Francis is in 23rd place with 13 points. Cincinnati St. Xavier leads with 155.5 points; Akron Firestone is second with 114.

While Pat Carroll swam in only one event, he had his hands full cheering for his sister.

“I know she'll do well so I don't get nervous for her,” Pat said. “It's nice having her here, we usually work together.”

The Carroll siblings have been swimming together since they were 5 and 6 years old.

“Our parents put us in swimming to keep us busy,” Pat said with a smile.

The siblings stayed in the pool and out of trouble. While they are both competitive, they have never been competitors, with Katie swimming the individual medley and the 50 freestyle and Pat swimming the 200 freestyle and the backstroke.

“He's faster because he's older and he's a guy,” Katie said.

The Notre Dame junior, however, had the first-place medal around her neck.

The state meet continues today but Katie will have only relays left.

“Now it's my easy day,” she said.

Pat will compete both in relays and in the backstroke. Now it's Katie's turn to cheer.

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