Denison High School freshman Tori Fryar discovered one thing at the UIL State Swimming and Diving Meet last month: It’s exciting enough to go back!
“It was amazing; so cool,” she said about a month after the event. “I did feel nervous.”
Fryar was at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18-19. She qualified and competed in the 100 meter freestyle for Class 4A. Her time was 52.54 seconds and left her in 13th
place after Saturday’s finals. There were 32 swimmers in Fryar’s event at the Friday preliminaries, where she finished 12th to advance to the finals.
Not bad for a swimmer who was in her first year of eligibility as a ninth grader.
“I was a little intimidated,” she admitted. “But I knew I could do something.”
It wasn’t her best time of the year, but it was close. Fryar had hoped to break the 52 second barrier, but is pleased with the result and the experience in her short career.
“When I finished on Friday, I knew immediately that I had made it to Saturday,” she recalled. “I was so happy. I didn’t do my best time but that’s okay; I just didn’t want to add time to it.”
That first experience at State on Friday was something Fryar won’t forget. She was in the second of four heats and didn’t really have time to think before the tone sounded.
“I felt nervous; then the heat started and my heart was beating so fast,” said Fryar. “I just kept swimming and once I touched, I was so tired; but I knew it was over.”
The Saturday session was late in the afternoon, so Fryar was able to ‘sleep in’ and relax most of the day. It helped her rest and prepare for the four laps of 25 meters each.
“It was nerve wracking; I was nervous for hours,” she laughed. “But it was a good experience.”
Once Fryar got to the complex, all the nervousness left and she began concentrating on the race and swimming her best.
“I knew if I put my mind to it, I could do it,” she said. “I thought maybe I could do really well. As I was swimming, I couldn’t tell how I was doing. Afterwards, I was kinda mad.”
“But later, I realized I have three more years to compete; I will do better,” she continued. “It’s an honor to be there; and I want to go back.”
Fryar, who holds five school records already, knows it will take ‘a lot of dedication’ to get back to the state meet especially if she wants to do it three more times. She is also a member of the Frisco USA Swimming Team and was a member of the Denison Dolphins for three years before high school.
Fryar also swims the 200 meter freestyle, the 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter backstroke among other races that she and Coach Joni Durham deem appropriate.
“But my favorite is the 100 meter free,” she smiled. “I’ve been swimming it since I was a kid.”
She hopes to go to the state meet in more than one event, but her goal is to win a race at state by the time she is a senior. Beyond that, Fryar hopes to swim collegiately and get used to the 50 meter pools; you know, the Olympic ones.
“I’ve been swimming all my life; even before I moved here,” said Fryar. “I want to keep doing it.”