Photo from Mottl
On Saturday, February 17, CHS freshman Kellen Mottl earned 2nd place in the 100-yard breaststroke event at the Missouri State Championship meet for girls’ varsity swimming.
Besides finishing in second place, Mottl lowered the CHS school record for the 100-yard breaststroke. She swam a time of 1:05.44, which is a personal best for her. The swimmer who placed first in the event and swam a time of 1:04.77 beat Mottl by less than a second.
“After the race, I was really happy and tired. I was excited that I got second and was proud of myself. I was glad to have a good last swim of the season,” Mottl said.
Mottl qualified to swim two individual events at State. In addition to the 100-yard breaststroke, she swam in the 100-yard freestyle event. She earned 10th in that event. The CHS girls’ swim team also qualified for the 200-yard medley relay event and 400-yard freestyle relay event. Mottl swam on those relays, and both of the relays dropped time.
Although Mottl is an experienced swimmer and has attended several meets throughout her swimming career, she was nervous for the State Championship, which was the biggest high school meet she had ever been to.
“I was really scared on Friday during the preliminary round of swimming. Most people going to state from other schools across didn’t go to school that day so they could rest. So most people got to sleep in and rest, but I went to school and I didn’t know how that would affect me,” Mottl said. “I kind of psyched myself out. I thought that I was not going to do well, so then I didn’t do well. I was definitely nervous.”
Mottl did not do as well as she hoped during prelims. However, she used her frustration as motivation for the finals on Saturday.
“In finals, I just swam to have fun and just to improve my time. I wasn’t as stressed out about it as prelims. So I did do better in finals just because I was more there having a good time as opposed to being stressed out about it,” Mottl said.
The freshman’s second-place finish is one of the highest places a CHS swimmer has earned in decades at the State Championship meet.
Sophie Thompson, a sophomore at CHS, also swam in individual events. Thompson earned 6th place in the 500-yard freestyle and set a new school record in that event. She also placed 9th in the 100-yard backstroke.
Mottl swims year round, and she hopes that her training with her club team will help her come back to the CHS girls’ varsity team next season as an even better swimmer and hopefully win first place at the State meet.
“On Saturday I acted like the meet was like any other meet,” Mottl said. “I went to Starbucks before and got an iced coffee, just like I do before every meet”