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Westwood's Doherty Wins County Swim Title

RYE, N.Y. -- Kaitlin Doherty came into the 86th annual Westchester County Swimming Championships knowing the competition was going to be more difficult this year. Doherty was moving up an age class, going into the 17-and-under girls’ division, but was one of the youngest in the class at 15.

“I knew there were a lot of faster girls in the 17-and-under class,” said the sophomore-to-be at White Plains High School. “I also knew that it would be a very good, fast race, and it was.”

Doherty, swimming for Westwood Swim & Tennis Association, was referring to the 17-and-under girls’ 100-yard freestyle, which she won, Wednesday, at Playland Pool. The championships conclude Thursday, beginning at 4 p.m.

She covered the 100 yards in 56 seconds, after swimming 56.68 seconds in her heat. She defeated Pelham Country Club’s Tara Deverna, who swam it in 56.18 seconds.

Doherty said she was a little nervous and kind of cold, waiting to swim, as the rain, which had drenched the spectators throughout the night, intensified.

“I was trying to keep warm and I wanted to go because I wanted to have fun and see what I could do,” Doherty said. “I have been working on my starts so I wanted to make sure I started fast.” Doherty did this and took the lead early.

She was focused on herself and her swim. When she made the turn, Doherty was getting stronger, gliding through the water with ease. “I thought the race was still tight so I just put my head down and went strong to the finish,” Doherty said.

Once Doherty emerged from the pool, she was greeted by an excited teammate. “One of my teammates, Kelsey, ran up to me and told me I won,” Doherty said. “I have been swimming at the counties since I was nine and I always wanted a first-place finish. I am glad I finally got to achieve it.”

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