Harris ended her junior season in high style with a pair of medals at the Missouri Class 2 swimming and diving meet at Rec-Plex in St. Peters on Feb. 16.
For the second time in three seasons, Harris was a top-six finisher at the state meet. This time around, she won the 100-meter freestyle race and turned in a strong second-place finish in the 50-meter freestyle.
“It felt amazing,” Harris said of her performance that day. “I felt extremely proud of myself and I believed in myself and I did it and I was so happy.”
Harris, started her day out in the finals with swimming in the 50 free final and had designs on winning that race as well. She prides herself on the 50 free being her best event. Harris swam a strong 23.72 time but was edged out at the wall by Liberty North’s Ainsley Dillon, who won the race.
Fort Zumwalt West coach Sarah Martin said that, after coming up just short in the 50 free, Harris was aggravated with her performance and determined not to let it happen again.
“She was frustrated with finishing second in the 50 free, which she was favored to win. She was like ‘you know what, I’m just gonna do it’ and she did. I believe she pulled out a personal best as well, so to do that in the 50, that’s impressive.”
About an hour after finishing second in the 50 free, Harris was ready to shine in the 100 free.
She left no doubt in the 100 free, racing to victory over Dillon by almost a full second with an eye-popping 50.93 time. That performance broke her own school record by just over half a second.
“I remember after the 50, I sat myself down and kept talking to myself before the 100 free. I was like ‘you gotta go, you gotta race’ and I remember getting up on the block and saying ‘I’m gonna win this’ and ‘I’m gonna do this’ and I just went all out and poured my heart into it,” Harris said.
State swimming success definitely runs in Harris family.
Her mother, Suzanne [Micklich], won an individual state championship in the 200 IM with McCluer in 1984.
Thanks to the 100 free title, Harris also became the first Jaguar to win an individual championship since Michelle Tipton claimed the 200 free back in 2011.
“I’m extremely proud of myself ,” she said. “I’m happy to represent my team and did that for my school and it’s great.”
Harris was thrilled to see her junior season end on such a high note, and Martin believes that there is even more success on the horizon for her next year as a senior.
“This performance caps off her season but definitely not for the future,” Martin said. “She’s a go-getter who can do anything she sets her mind to and she’s going to be unstoppable.”