By Kyle LoJacono
Abbey Duncan, a 12-year-old swimmer from Land O’ Lakes, returned from the Florida State Long Course Junior Olympics with two championships and new state record.
“I’d been working hard to get my times down,” Abbey said. “There are some girls I’ve raced against a couple times and they’ve beaten me. … When I saw that I’d won and set a state record I was so excited. It was the best.”
The new record was set in the 50-meter butterfly for girls ages 11-12, where she trimmed more than half a second off the old record of 29.84 seconds down to 29.32. The new mark is the second fastest time in the nation this year in the age group, according to Junior Olympics records.
“I think that’s my best event,” Abbey said of the 50 butterfly. “I like them all, but that’s probably my best.”
Abbey was also the state champion in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:07.93.
“She’s been putting in a lot of time in the pool to get better,” said her father and coach Ken Duncan. “She’d come in second place in a state event before, but these are her first two state titles.”
Abbey’s other finishes at the event were second in the 50 freestyle in 28.22, second in the 50 backstroke in 32.11 and third in the 200 freestyle in 2:14.69. The meet was in Orlando July 15-17.
Abbey started swimming around age 8. She estimates she spends about two hours each day in and out of the pool training with support from many people.
“I couldn’t have done it without all the people who help me every day,” Abbey said.
Abbey currently swims for Tampa Area Performance Swimming (TAPS), which trains at Heritage Harbor in Lutz. For more information on TAPS, visit TAPSaquatics.org.
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