AUSTIN — Lindsay Looney closed out her outstanding high school with one final stellar performance.
The Denison senior dominated in both of her events at the Class 5A state swim meet at the University of Texas’ Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Saturday night, defending her titles in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly by setting 5A records in the process.
Looney, who has signed with Arizona State, finishes her career with eight medals and seven of them are gold. She won four straight crowns in the 200 IM and won three straight 100 fly titles after taking the silver as a freshman.
“It’s been a fun ride. I’m very thankful to everyone who’s supported me throughout my high school career,” Looney said. It’s not sad but I’m looking forward to what will be the next chapter in my life. I’ve got more to do in the next couple years.”
She started with her win in the 200 IM, claiming the gold in a record time of 1:59.33. The previous record was 1:59.42 set in 2013 by Lubbock’s Madisyn Cox.
Looney won by more than three seconds over Frisco Reedy’s Abby Koczo, who was the runner-up in 2:02.57 and the only one to break 2:05. Eason Jones of Lovejoy took the bronze medal at 2:05.10.
Her effort was the culmination of four years of lowering her times. She won last spring in 2:00.54 after earning the title as a sophomore in 2:01.70 and as a freshman she won in 2:02.68.
When it came to the 100 fly about an hour later, Looney was again an even bigger favorite after she had already lowered her 5A mark in the prelims on Friday.
She closed out her career by winning in 53.28 seconds and by more than a second in front of Friendswood’s Olivia Theall, who claimed silver in 54.27 seconds. Lezli Sisung, also from Friendswood was third at 56.05 seconds.
It was the fourth time Looney lowered the 5A record.
“Anybody could beat me any day and anything could happen,” she said. ” I trust my training and trust the process. I met my goals I was chasing.”
Following her silver medal as a freshman in 55.38 seconds, she first set the mark when she won as a sophomore at 54.41 seconds over the mark of 54.70 set in 2009 by Friendswood’s Caroline McElhany.
Last spring she lowered it to 54.40 seconds in winning state and broke it twice this weekend.
The first of her record-setting performances was in the 100 fly prelims as she set the pace with a time of 53.59 seconds for the top seed in the finals.
“I just kinda went for it and also got the record at the same time,” she said.
Theall was second in the prelims at 54.97 seconds and the only swimmer to be under 56 seconds.
Looney also won the prelims in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.36, improving on her region-winning time of 2:02.85. Koczo was second in qualifying at 2:03.61 and the only other swimmer under 2:05.
Her place is set not only as the best swimmer in school history but also one of the best athletes to compete for Denison, regardless of sport.
“I don’t really feel pressure. I love racing and having the opportunity to compete,” Looney said. “I set goals and hopefully I’m able to attain them.”
Looney became the first Denison swimmer to win a state championship and is the first to qualify for state all four years after joining her brother, Davis, and Tori Fryar as the only Yellow Jacket swimmers to make it to state at least three times. Both Looneys are the only ones to do it consecutively.
She holds the school record in all eight individual races, lowering six of them again this season, and part of the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay school marks set at this year’s region meet with Brooke Finch, Brinley Finch and Emmaline Hill as well. The only Denison record she does not have a part of is the 400 free relay.