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Brueggen ends long journey with two state swim medals

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Louisburg sophomore Sabra Brueggen earned two state medals Saturday during the Class 4A Kansas State Swim and Dive Championships.

TOPEKA — Sabra Brueggen left with one less medal than she was hoping for following last season’s Kansas State Swim and Dive Championships.

Brueggen doubled her medal count Saturday at this year’s state meet at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka. The Louisburg sophomore earned state medals in both the 100-yard backstroke and 50 freestyle.

After earning the one medal as a freshman a year ago, Brueggen was happy to find the medal stand in both races this season.

However, it has been a long road for Brueggen to get back to the state meet. After suffering a knee injury last summer, she had to work hard to get back in time for this go-round in a recovery that lasted nine months.

“Going into high school swim this season, I only had one personal goal in mind, making it back to finals at state,” Brueggen said. “Little did I know that I was going to make it back to the ‘A’ final in both my events, allowing me to medal. This truly meant the world to me because this past year has been one of the toughest ones yet. Overcoming this nine month long recovery, and accomplishing this at state, was an indescribable feeling.

Brueggen had a good day in the preliminaries on Friday as she recorded a couple season-best times to help get her in the finals.

In the 50 freestyle, Brueggen recorded a new personal-best time of 25.07 in the preliminaries and finished eighth, which guaranteed her a state medal. In the finals, Brueggen again took eighth in 25.26 seconds.

Prime Accounting

She then took part in the 100 backstroke, where she swam a season-best time of 59.79 seconds to take fifth in the prelims. Brueggen then swam a time of 1:00.87 in the finals to medal sixth.

“Swimming personal best times at state this year was not something I was expecting, but nonetheless achieving those times in the events Friday night truly gave me the confidence that I needed going into finals on Saturday,” Brueggen said.

Also on Friday, Brueggen joined her teammates in a pair of relays. Brueggen, along with Janie Harth, Dana Mattison and Cadence Weichert, took 20th in the 200 freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:52.03.

The Wildcat group also swam a good time in the 200 medley relay, but were disqualified. 

“Having my teammates by my side at state this year was amazing,” Brueggen said. “All of us having the chance to swim a relay at the state level together was a memorable experience. I can’t wait for the upcoming years and having a chance to do it again.”

With two more years remaining, Brueggen is hoping to find the medal stand once again out at state, but she still appreciates what she has able to accomplish this year.

“Understanding that I could overcome the obstacles that were thrown my way this past year, gives me so much confidence for the years to come,” Brueggen said. “The support that I have had from my family, friends, and coaches throughout this whole journey has given me so much faith and excites me for my future, as well as the future of the OzPaLou swim team.”