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High Schools

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Snider senior Hannah Miller is ranked second in the state in the 500 free at 4:56.42.

Swimming extra mile

Snider senior will put long-distance skills to test Saturday

At the Hall of Fame Classic, Miller will swim the 1,000 and 200 free, the 400 IM and two relays.

– The distances have gotten longer and longer for Hannah Miller as her swim career has progressed, but the Snider senior seems to be keeping up just fine.

Miller began her swimming career at 12, when she joined the Arlington Park team and the Fort Wayne Aquatics club team.

“I took to it right away,” Miller said. “But once we got into club swimming, it definitely got a lot harder and took some getting used to. When you age up in 13-14, you started doing longer distances. So that was something to get used to, but it ended up pretty well after a while.”

Miller has been swimming the longer distances in high school, including the 500- and 200-yard freestyle. She is ranked second in the state in the 500 free at 4:56.42.

“Work on getting into the groove of the stroke and holding paces over and over again,” Miller said of training for the longer distances. “We do a lot of pace work. Repetitively and holding it a certain time so you get used to that feel so you can do that in the pool. Usually if I don’t swim the longer distances, I will swim the IM (individual medley).”

The distances will get even longer when Miller begins her college career at Buffalo next year. It could be the mile freestyle or even the 500 and 400 IM events.

“It is kind of up in the air right now, but eventually it will be longer events,” Miller said.

On Saturday at the Hall of Fame Classic in Franklin, Miller will swim the 1,000 and 200 free, the 400 IM and two relays, the four longest races in the event.

“Most swimmers don’t do all those in one event,” Snider coach Chris Knoblauch said. “She is going to do them all in a 2-3 hour period. She’s done that setup for four years and every year she has learned from those swims and improved, which has given her confidence every year. She has dropped time in those races, which isn’t very easy to do.”

In most high school events, the longest race is the 500, but in club meets it goes all the way up to 1,650 (also called the mile).

“As she has gotten older, those events have become more her focus,” Knoblauch said. “She’s really good at pacing herself in those longer races. The longer the race, the better she does.”

A top-3 finish in the 500 and qualifying in the 200 are Miller’s goals when the state meet rolls around at the end of the season.

“She’s pretty good at learning from past performances,” Knoblauch said. “There’s been times she has swam really, really well and times when she hasn’t swam very well. Instead of focusing on those bad times, she has learned from the mistakes she made. It has helped her perform better when she gets to the state level.”

It all began for Miller making constant trips to the Brown Natatorium at South Side as said she got into swimming partly because her mother swam for a high school team in South Bend.

“It’s a little bit of a drive for me, but it is definitely worth it,” Miller said.

More distance conquered.

gjones@jg.net

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