Kodiak High School’s Ila Hughes and Tahna Lindquist spent their spring break competing against a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
The two sophomore swimming stars participated alongside Missy Franklin in the Western Region Section Short Course Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
And the Kodiak students held their own against Franklin, who won four gold medals and one bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.
“Swimming in the same meet with a four-time Olympian is a moment in their life they will never forget,” Kodiak Kingfishers coach John Lindquist said. “I believe the girls see they are reaching the highest level you can in swimming, and it was really awesome.”
Hughes finished 16 spots back from Franklin in the 100-yard freestyle finals on Thursday. Franklin, swimming for a Colorado club team, won the A final with a national-age group record time 47.28 seconds, while Hughes took the C final in a Winter Nationals qualifying and state-record 50.56, good for 17th overall.
Later Thursday, Lindquist had her try at Franklin in the 200 backstroke. The 17-year-old Olympian won the A final in 1:48.42, while Lindquist captured the C final in a Winter National qualifying and state record time 2:00.34.
Lindquist had another go at Franklin in the 500 freestyle on Saturday.
Franklin won again in 4:34.62, while Lindquist won the C final in 4:57.87.
Lindquist also placed 67th in the 200 freestyle (1:54.65) and 103rd in the 200 individual medley (2:11.11)
Hughes saved her best performance for Sunday, the final day of the meet.
She placed second in the B final — 10th overall — in a field that featured 143 swimmers. Her time of 23.44 qualified her for the Winter Junior Nationals. Hughes also finished seventh — 30th overall — in the D final of the 200 freestyle (1:53.10) and 90th in the 100 butterfly (58.92).
Jori Lindquist, Tahna’s older sister, also competed at the meet. She placed 80th in the 200 backstroke (2:07.41), 82nd in the 100 backstroke (59.27), 123rd in the 200 individual medley (2:12.28) and 159th in the 200 free (1:58.32).
The three girls, representing the Kodiak Kingfishers, placed 34th out of 42 point-scoring teams.
This weekend, Talon Lindquist, Luke James and Nathan Schauff are traveling to Federal Way for Age Group Championships.
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