GRESHAM — Caitlyn Shortt had a disappointed look on her face following her second-place finish in the 200 IM at Saturday’s OSAA/U.S. Bank State Swimming Championships.
“I could’ve gone faster,” she said.
Most sophomores would have been ecstatic to finish in the top three, but Shortt is no ordinary sophomore. She had gold on her mind in this, her second state meet.
Lucky for her, the day was far from over. Shortt still had another event to realize her goal. And that look of disappointment quickly turned to a radiant smile.
Shortt put the 200 IM behind her, refocused and, without even thinking about it, swam away with the 100 backstroke state title in a personal-record time of 58.54 seconds.
“As soon as my event was called, I just put on my headphones and tuned everything out,” she said. “I knew what I was going to do the moment I stepped out of the waiting room.”
Shortt led from start to finish and held off a hard-charging Kathryn Thompson of Roseburg by one-tenth of a second to win her first state title — HRV’s first since Beth Pendleton won the 50 and 100 freestyle events in 2000.
“It’s pretty special for me because I didn’t even make it to the finals last year,” said Shortt, who finished seventh in the 100 breast and eighth in the 200 IM at the 2001 state championships.
“I wasn’t really happy with my time in the 200 IM and went into the back knowing it was my last chance. I had to win at least one of my events, and nothing was going to stop me,” she said.
Shortt’s “disappointing” 2:08.25 time in the 200 IM was about half a second slower than her district-record time set on Feb. 9. But even if Shortt had matched her district performance, she still would have fallen short to Crescent Valley High School senior Lauren Clark, who blazed to victory with a time of 2:06.76.
Clark was one of three seniors in the final heat, which also featured two Mt. Hood Conference foes — Barlow’s Christina Kinney (senior) and Gresham’s Katie Peterson (freshman).
Another freshman, Thompson, finished third in the event and will be Shortt’s most significant obstacle as she tries to achieve her new goal for 2003.
“I’m definitely shooting for the IM title next year,” she said. “I still have a lot more to go.”
Much to the dismay of the Intermountain Conference and anyone else who tries to stand in Shortt’s way.