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Lux ends impressive season at state finals

Shelbyville freshman Grace Lux prepares to swim in the 100-yard breaststroke at the IHSAA State Finals over the weekend.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

INDIANAPOLIS — To call Grace Lux an impressive athlete might be a slight understatement. She is still growing, still improving. In reality, no one really knows how good the Shelbyville freshman standout will be one day.

But this is what we do know: Lux clocked the seventh fastest time in the state in the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday on the final day of the IHSAA State Finals. Winning the "B" final in 1:04.32, Lux raised the bar again during the final day of the 2018-19 high school swim season. 

Impressive? Absolutely. Get used to it, Shelby County. Lux, for the next three seasons anyway, is not going anywhere. 

After swimming in 200 medley relay with teammates Ellie and Karissa Hamilton and Marlee Rice on Friday at state, Lux qualified for Saturday's "B" final in the 100 breaststroke by finishing in 1:04.89. She topped that mark in the final Saturday, breaking her own school record in the event. 

"If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough," Lux said, repeating the same sentence she stated at the beginning of the season prior to ever swimming in a varsity race. "I told (the coaches) at the beginning of the year I wanted to go 1:04 and make it to the finals. Now I know why they laughed at me when I said a 1:04. But I pushed myself hard enough. If you set a goal at the beginning of the year, you don't forget about it. 

"Saturday I was just able to be myself and swim my stroke."

Lux currently owns five school records at the school. During the first meet of the season, she topped E. Hamilton's old record in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.52), which was a 1:11.72. She went on to break that mark seven times over the course of the season. Lux also has the 200 individual medley and 200 free records as an individual and helped set the program marks in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays with the Hamilton sisters and Rice. 

Lux said having those teammates, plus more, support her Saturday at state made a difference.

"Having the girls on the deck was a big help, I had family and friends who supported me, too," Lux said. "I knew I was not alone. I still had everyone by my side.

"I was not nervous. I was excited to be there."

Lux was seeded second in the 100 breaststroke entering sectional action and finished second overall in the finals in 1:05.73. She was seeded 22nd entering Friday's state prelims and managaed to move into the finals (top 16, two races) with a 13th-place finish. Lux won the consolation final and beat two swimmers (times) in the "A" final for the seventh fastest time in the state. 

"Coach Coen Weiler made me restart (mentally) the meet after the 200 medley race Friday," Lux said. "He wanted me to refocus and treat it like a whole different meet. I told myself I am going back to the finals. I had to push myself. After the sectional, it was like I was hungry for more."

And for now, Lux is not done swimming. For the next several weeks, Lux will prepare for and swim at Age Group State.

As for next season? It is safe to say no record is safe with Lux, among other talented rookies at the school, swimming at Shelbyville. 

"I got so much stronger this year," Lux said, crediting her teammates and head coach. "But the mental attitude that came in (was different) for me. 

"It was more of a family this year. I am just so close with all them. Even if practices were hard, you knew you were not the only one going through it. We all really encouraged each other this year. We were real teammates."

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.