GEORGETOWN — Lilly Canida is the type of person who sets high standards for herself. So when the Madison freshman not only lost her sectional race in the 50-yard freestyle but finished third, she didn’t sit around and pout and feel sorry for herself. Instead, she went back to work.
Canida overcame that early disappointment to pull out a close win in the 100-yard freestyle to claim a sectional championship at Floyd Central on Saturday and earn a trip to the IHSAA State Finals this weekend in Indianapolis.
Canida is the first Madison Lady Cub to earn a state finals berth since Val Gonzalez four years ago and after losing that first race, she wasn’t about to lose again.
“I was seeded first in the 50 and I got third and that kind of fired me up for the 100,” Canida said. “I truly wanted to do it. I felt like I wasn’t finishing my stroke as well. Like I was shortening my stroke. And so I was spinning my wheels.”
Canida used the knowledge she gained from the 50 yard loss and went to work in the 100. Flanked by teammate Reilly Kuppler and Floyd Central’s Savanna Liddle — both of whom had beaten her in the 50 — Canida knew she had to be fast. Her winning time of 54.00 flat bested Liddle by eight hundredths of a second and Kuppler by just over a second.
“We’ve talked about how the 50 has to be a perfect race. Everything has to work out. But with 100, you get a little bit of space,” Madison coach Ashley Schutte said. “It took the 50 to figure things out. You know, the 50 didn’t work out for her but we knew that that would give her incentive to go and fix herself. She did what she needed to do in the 100.”
Canida’s win in the 100 was just a small part of a successful weekend for Madison, which finished fourth overall as a team with 215 points.
Canida teamed with Kuppler, Avery Johnson and Emily Nay to set two new school records, placing second in the 200 medley relay in 1:54.33 and second in the 200 free relay in 1:43.36.
Kuppler also placed second in the 50 freestyle in 24.76 and third in the 100 free in 55.13 while Canida was third in the 50 free in 24.93. Nay swam sixth in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.33, Johnson was seventh in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.58, and Alyssa Storm, Penelope Bibbs, Callie Anderson and Emma Wynn were eighth in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:18.78.
“It’s been incredible. I mean, both the medley relay and freestyle relays broke records today,” Schutte said. “We’re really excited about the girls program because they are on the cusp of something very special. We saw a couple years ago with the boys and now the seventh and eighth grades that are coming up out of our system. So it’s gonna be exciting to watch.”
Southwestern’s Raygan Crawford, who won the 100 butterfly sectional title last year, ended up fourth this year in 1:014.12 in a very fast race and was sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:04.92. She also teamed with Riley Crawford, Amiah Owen and Claire Shaffer to place sixth in the 200 medley relay in 2:06.51 and with Riley Crawford, Shaffer and Addy Nussbaum to place sixth in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:02.68.
Finishes in the consolation finals for Madison were: Nay, ninth, 50 free, 26.65; Wynn, 10th, 100 back, 1:09.73 and 15th, 100 free, 1:03.25; Anderson, 12th, 100 breast, 1:25.98; Johnson, 13th, 200 IM, 2:37.96; Kira Brittain, 14th, 100 back, 1:14.65; and Storm, 16th, 200 free, 2:28.32.
Finishes in the consolation finals for Southwestern were: Riley Crawford, ninth, 200 free, 2:14.31 and ninth, 100 free, 58.52; Owen, Zoya Kalinin, Alexis Dean-Wells and Nussbaum, 10th, 200 free relay, 2:10.58; Nussbaum, 14th, 200 free, 2:22.34; and Owen, 16th, 100 back, 1:15.31.
Finishes in consolation finals for Switzerland County were: Ava Cole, Brooklyn Flanders, Molly Hicks and Kaelin Taylor, ninth, 200 medley relay, 2:16.56; Taylor, Carly Bennett, Hicks and Cole, ninth, 200 free relay, 2:02.69; Bennett, Amber Detmer, Emily Oatman and Hicks, 10th, 400 free relay, 5:01.94; Flanders, 13th, 100 breast, 1:26.39; Cole, 14th, 200 IM, 2:40.65 and 16th, 100 fly, 1:17.04; and Taylor, 15th, 200 free, 2:22.85 and 15th, 500 free, 6:20.02.
Floyd Central scored 502 points to win its sixth-straight sectional title and 15th overall. Jeffersonville was second with 334 points and Seymour was third with 326.
The IHSAA State Finals will be held at the Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis. The preliminaries will be on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. Canida has been placed in the first of four heats of the 100 freestyle. The top 16 finishers will advance to Saturday’s finals.
All competition will be streamed live at IHSAAtv.org via pay-per-view at $10 for Friday’s preliminaries or $15 for both days.