CORNING - The Corning Hawks girls swim team will have two representatives at the state meet starting Friday at Ithaca College in Angie McKane and Taylor Roberts. The two, Roberts a senior and McKane an eighth-grader, have a special bond they've built throughout the season despite their age difference.
Roberts was assigned as a 'big sister' in the Corning Hawks swim team’s ‘big sister, little sister' program to McKane at the start of the season, and now they'll both be making their first state appearance together. As a big sister, Roberts would bring gifts to McKane throughout the season along with encouraging her and writing her notes.
“She has definitely helped me throughout the way, especially in my first sectionals,” said McKane. “She always wished me luck and wrote me letters, it was super cute.”
Roberts relishes the opportunity to go with and cheer on her friend at states.
“We were able to get close this year, and now that we have that bond, it will be a huge motivation for me to hear her cheering for me and me cheering for her on the sideline," said Roberts.
Roberts will compete in diving, qualifying with a dive score of 442.10 during the regular season. The score qualifies her toward the bottom of the list for the state meet, but she has goals and expectations for the challenge.
“My goal is to make it through the first round, it’s an accomplishment being there already,” said Roberts. “I just have to focus in on all of the things I know I need to correct. Along with the things I’ve got down so I can put it together really and step it up.”
At states, cuts are made after five and eight dives, with the top 20 earning medals.
McKane qualified in the 100 meter butterfly after breaking Corning team records twice this season in the event. She is seeded to finish in the top half of the competition and is only one of six underclassmen in the 84 swimmer field.
McKane has dropped three seconds in the butterfly for the Hawks and qualified with a time of 58.84 and has goals of dropping even further at states.
“My goal is to make the top 30, but my goal is to get a 57 [seconds],” said McKane. "I have been practicing very hard.”
Corning head coach Alyssa Helsing has one goal for her duo at the state meet.
“That they get up there, do their best and come away feeling personally successful and that they accomplished what they want to accomplish,” said Helsing.