MADISON — Megan Duffy stood in the UW-Natatorium shortly under an hour after her high school swim career had concluded with a fourth-place medal draped around her neck.
Duffy swam the 50-yard freestyle in 24.12 seconds at the WIAA Division 2 State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships and posted a time that reset her own school record in the distance.
There was no way her eyes were being taken off the prize.
“I was super focused,” Duffy said. “I knew I wanted to drop time and (tonight I) did what I had to do.”
Madison Edgewood’s Issy Petersen and Greendale’s Hannah Kujawa tied for second in 24.05 while McFarland’s Alex Moderski set the 50 freestyle state record with a time of 22.77.
Sophomore Josie Peterson, sophomore Sophie Peterson, senior Halle Peterson and Duffy came home eighth in the 200 freestyle relay with a mark of 1:41.60, which was less than half a second behind the time needed to reach the medal stand.
“I was proud of how the girls did. I know they were disappointed,” first-year Jefferson/Cambridge head swimming coach Alyssa Hotter said. “Not far off the time we swam at sectionals. When each girl is swimming 50’s it’s a matter of half a second that can make or break it.”
Jefferson/Cambridge’s Josie Peterson narrowly missed reaching the podium in the 50 freestyle after finishing eighth with a time of 24.65.
Duffy also placed ninth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.90. Duffy’s fourth-place medal is the second in her career at state after being on the 200 freestyle relay team that finished second a season ago.
Halle Peterson and Duffy’s impact on the program will be felt on future teams.
“They have pushed a lot of the girls and kind of set that bar regarding: here’s where you need to swim, here’s the times you need to get and this is what practice needs to look like,” Hotter said. “Both of the girls kind of led their own way. They have imprinted in my sophomores and juniors what needs to come next year. I think that’s going to help continue to develop the team in the coming years.”
Halle Peterson will have fond memories off her final prep swim race.
“I really enjoyed it and loved being able to spend it with some of my closest friends,” she said.
Jefferson/Cambridge finished 15th in the team competition with a score of 61 points. Madison Edgewood took home the team crown for the fourth consecutive year after totaling 328.5 points.
Duffy will specifically remember two things about being on this team.
“We all support each other and that they were all Peterson girls,” she said.