WEBSTER – A superb, record-setting career for Baldwinsville girls swimmer Eva Smith concluded with another top-10 finish in the 100-yard backstroke during last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Webster Aquatic Center, near Rochester.
Smith was aiming to improve upon her seventh-place finish in the 2022 state meet, where she finished in 57.45 seconds but pulled off a 56.98 during the qualifying round.
Seeded at 58.07 seconds, Smith would improve on that by nearly a full second in Friday’s opening round to 57.20 in order to qualify eighth for the championship round a day later.
Then, in Saturday’s finals, Smith would not quite match her qualifying time, but still post 57.29 seconds and get to the awards podium in eighth place both overall and among NYSPHSAA swimmers.
Canton sophomore Gretchen Braun won the 100 backstroke, her 55.46 seconds edging Bellmore-Merrick’s Calista Chen (55.51) and making Braun the first-ever Section X swimmer to bring home an individual state title.
Smith also competed in the 50 freestyle, where she went 24.85 seconds in the qualifying round, just behind her season-best 24.71. In the finals, Smith improved to 24.74 and took 18th place overall as Corning’s Angie McKane won in 22.92.