NYSPHSAA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS: A MAGICAL DAY FOR MCKANE AS SHE WINS 2 STATE TITLES, A FEDERATION TITLE AND BECOMES ALL-AMERICAN (24 PHOTOS)
(2022-11-19)By Brian FeesSouthern Tier Sports Report
WEBSTER — It was the type of day that athletes only dream about.
Two individual races, two NYSPHSAA state titles, a Federation title and an automatic All-American time.
For Corning’s Angie McKane the day was everything she hoped for results wise. But, she was also already thinking about how she could get even faster for next season.
“I was really happy with both of my races,” McKane said. “I know in both of them there is room to improve, so I have things to focus on and things to look forward to.”
For McKane the day started with the 50 free. McKane finished strong, touching the awl in 23.56, .02 ahead of the competition, to win the Federation title.
While McKane won the 100 fly NYSPHSAA title last year, and this year, there was something different about winning Federations and touching the wall first.
“I’m super elated that I was able to touch the wall first over everyone,” McKane said.
Corning coach Alyssa Helsing knows how hard McKane has worked to reach these goals.
“The level of excitement is hard to describe,” Helsing said. “She’s worked so hard and we knew she had it in her. Even though that wasn’t her best 50 race, she pulled it together on the back half and scratched her way back to a win. I think that set her up in a good mental space to give that fall all she had and I think you saw in the first 50 free she was really hanging with Tess Howley, and just a little more training and I think she’s going to be right up there.”
In the 100 fly McKane won the public school title in 54.05, hitting the Automatic All-American time.
“I’m very excited, and I’m also very grateful I was able to get that time,” McKane said. “I was pretty close to it already, so I’m glad I was able to push through it and get it.”
Tess Howley, of Sacred Heart, won the Federation title in 52.80. For McKane, she was neck and next with Howley for the first half of the race. That’s pretty special for the Hawks junior as Howley is the number two ranked H.S. recruit in the nation, headed to Virginia. Howley was 10th in the Olympic Trials in the 200 fly in 2020.
“I was super grateful I was able to keep up with her for the first 50,” McKane said. “Our turns were almost in sync for the first 50. It also tells me I have to work on my back half a little more so I’m able to keep up with her more.”
Both Howley and McKane went under the old pool record that was held by Megan Deuel of Pittsford, who now swims at Notre Dame and was a national qualifier.
“Definitely incredible,” McKane said. “I’m elated that I was able to have a faster time than what Megan was able to get in this pool. Hopefully that means there is something in the future for me as well just like she went to Notre Dame.”
McKane is excited to try and hit even faster times and get to the same levels and Deuel and Howley.
“I was just .06 of a second off the U.S. Open’s cut time (in the fly), just being able to see that little things can make such a big difference in my last 25,” McKane said. “My finish wasn’t the best, I think being able to see what I can improve on helps me to see if I can make those higher level meets.”
The Hawks junior had a lot of goals coming into the state meet, and there was some relief to hit those goals.
“My nerves were definitely worse in the beginning of the week,” McKane said. “I think it was fine throughout the day right until going into my race I was a little nervous, but thinking about how the race would be over in just a minute, or like half a minute, that definitely helped.”
For McKane as good as Saturday was, the idea of working on getting better is what is on her mind.
“I am excited, because I definitely have things to work on, there is definitely more potential there,” McKane said.
McKane knows that with times like she had this weekend, she likely will hear from more and more college coaches.
“I think maybe it will wait until Winter Junior Nationals, which is in a couple of weeks, but I’m happy with my times and I hope coaches are also happy,” McKane said.
For McKane there is one school she’s dreamed of, and she’s hoping that results like Saturday may one day make that dream come true.
“I think I have had my eyes set on Duke for a while and I’m hoping as time progresses I’ll be able to talk to them a little more,” McKane said.
It hasn’t sunk in yet for McKane that she is now a three-time state champion, after winning the public school title in the fly last year as well.
“It’s definitely crazy,” McKane said. “I was happy on the podium, but I don’t think it’s really, truly sunk in yet.”
McKane, Carolyn Heckle, Kara Peters and Maira Kuksenkova swam in the 400 free relay ‘C’ Final, but the team wound up disqualified.
IN TOP PHOTO: Corning’s Angie McKane hugs teammate Carolyn Heckle after winning her second state title on the day Saturday. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES