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Hannon places at swimming championships

August 28, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer
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To say it's been a successful two weeks for 10-year-old Julia Hannon would be an understatement.

In that time Hannon competed in USA Swimming's 2001 Western Zone Championship meet in Maui, Hawaii, and in the San Diego-Imperial County Long Course Junior Olympics in La Jolla.

At the Western Zone Championships, Hannon took 11th place in the 50-meter breaststroke in a personal best of 42.29 seconds, finished 17th in the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 35.32 seconds and was on relay teams that took ninth in the freestyle and medley relays.

"I really didn't expect to do that well, but it was easier than I expected," said Hannon. "One of my goals going into it was to do the best I could in the 50. And I did that."

In the 50 breaststroke, Hannon was seeded 15th among a pool of 40 swimmers, but with her finish bumped herself up to 11th.

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"I was pretty happy about getting my (personal record), but I thought I could've done a little better," Hannon said. "The competition was really tough, but I know I should have done better than what I did."

As if her performance at the Western Zone Championships wasn't enough, she followed a few days later with two top-five finishes at the Junior Olympics.

Hannon finished third in the 50 breaststroke in 43.62, took fifth in the 100 breastroke in 1:38.99 and placed seventh in the 200-meter individual medley in 3:07.40.

While her performance at the Junior Olympics may have been impressive to many, to Hannon it was a bit of a disappointment.

"I really didn't have my best times. I know I should've done better. I was pretty disappointed with how I did," said Hannon.

Even with the disappointment at the Junior Olympics, her experience at the Western Zone Championships, which is the highest level of swimming competition in the western United States, inspired her to become more dedicated to her sport.

"Doing as well as I did gives me more motivation to do even better and swim harder so I can make it back next year," said Hannon. "I think if I keep working hard I can make it back there and do better."

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