Sterling sophomore Madison Austin placed 18th in the 100-yard freestyle at the IHSA Girls Swimming & Diving State Meet on Nov. 11 at FMC Natatorium in Westmont, swimming the race in 52.35 seconds to miss out on advancing to Day 2 by just 0.17 seconds.
On Nov. 5, she qualified for state in the event by swimming a school-record time of 52.24 seconds, and she also broke the school record in the 200 freestyle (1:55.98), while finishing second in that race. She was part of the runner-up 400 freestyle relay team, and the third-place 200 freestyle relay squad.
Austin is the Sauk Valley Media Athlete of the Week, and she answered a few questions to help us get to know her a little bit.
What was the key to your success all season long?
Austin: I set goals at the beginning of the season, to make state and break a record. My team really pushed me to achieve and surpass my goals. I ended up making it to state and breaking two records.
With your goal to set school records in your races this season, how did it feel when you finally accomplished that at the sectional?
Austin: It felt good to accomplish the goal of setting at least one record, especially with the way my team was encouraging me at the end of the pool.
How special was it to finish 18th in the entire state in the 100 freestyle as a sophomore?
Austin: Finishing in the top 20 was good, and I enjoyed my experience at state, but I would have liked to have made finals – and I have a new goal now: make finals next year.
How does this experience help your confidence for the future? Does it make you hungrier to get back to state the next 2 years?
Austin: My experience helps me to know that even while taking a full year off of swimming, I was able to swim fast. I plan to be in the pool in the offseason and be ready to final the next two years. I also believe we can take one of our relays to state next year.
What’s your favorite memory of Sterling swimming?
Austin: Going to state and having four of my teammates come watch me was awesome. We set the goal to have at least one swimmer get to state, and so I felt like my whole team was with me.
What’s your favorite thing about swimming?
Austin: I love racing and hate losing, so going 25-2 this year and undefeated in the regular season in my individual races was really special.
What’s your favorite movie? TV show?
Austin: My favorite movie is Elf! My favorite tv show is The Vampire Diaries.
What is your perfect meal?
Austin: My perfect meal is Chicken Parmigiana with garlic bread.
What superpower would you like to have, and why?
Austin: I would like to have the power to teleport, because I hate to fly.
What songs do you listen to to fire you up before a race?
Austin: I don’t have a favorite song, but I listen to rap top 100 on Apple Music to get ready to race!
What songs are your go-to to relax?
Austin: I listen to country music to relax.
What is your favorite class, and why?
Austin: My favorite class is Accelerated Chemistry, because Mr. Johnson makes it fun and interesting.
You get to have dinner and talk swimming with three athletes, past or present. They can be professionals, Olympians, or former area standouts. Who are you picking, and why?
Austin: I would like to have dinner and talk swimming with my brother Reiley Austin, and former Olympians Ryan Locate and Michael Phelps.