Mark Schmetzer reports:
Zoe Thatcher didn’t realize she’d just broken a Division I girls’ district swim meet record until she was standing on the award-winners’ podium.
She didn’t realize the total magnitude of the accomplishment until she stepped down after receiving her medal.
The Mason junior broke the meet’s longest-standing record, winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.59 to just squeeze past the 1:48.00 logged by Finneytown’s Buffy Krieger in 1984.
She didn’t know the record had been set long before she was born until it was mentioned to her minutes later.
“I didn’t even realize I broke the record until they said something while I was getting my medal,” said Thatcher, clutching a stuffed purple-blue “Sulley” character from the Disney movie “Monsters, Inc.” – a tribute to Mason coach Mark Sullivan. “Sometimes I think it’s better if you don’t know until later. Then you can be like, ‘Oh, wow.’
“This is probably the biggest record I’ve ever broken,” she added.
Thatcher also broke the meet’s most recent record, the 500 freestyle mark she set last year. Thatcher, the defending 500 freestyle district and state champion, knocked 3.46 seconds off the previous record, finishing in 4:47.26.
“I’m very happy,” she said. “I just wanted to swim my fastest. The record is a bonus.”
Thatcher helped lead the Comets to what coach Mark Sullivan said is the program’s first district championship. They eased past Centerville, 321-302.5, at Miami’s Corwin M. Nixon Aquatics Center, breaking Ursuline’s two-year hold on the title.