Chu Wins Fourth Straight County Backstroke Title

RYE, N.Y. -- Kierstin Chu was very familiar with her competition going into the girl’s 17-and-under 100-yard backstroke final Thursday.

In fact, Katie Duncalf and Megan Gallagher are two of Chu’s good friends. However, Duncalf and Gallagher would be aiming to defeat their friend.

Chu, representing the Lewisboro Swim Team, was not going to allow it for she had added motivation. Chu was looking to make it four consecutive 100-yard backstroke titles.

The trio swam stroke for stroke through 75 yards, then Chu turned it up and powered her way to the title at the 87th annual Westchester County Swimming and Diving Championships at Playland Pool.

Chu finished in a time of 1:01.92 seconds to shade Duncalf (1:02.61) and Gallagher (1:02.97). Chu decreased her preliminary time by more than a second (1:03.15).

Following the awards ceremony, Chu, Duncalf and Gallagher posed for a picture then had a group hug.

“Going into the final was I nervous because we were so close in our times that it was anyone’s race,” said Chu, 15, a sophomore-to-be at The Hackley School. “I did want to maintain my backstroke title.”

Chu, a Cross River resident, won the 50-yard backstroke as a 12-year old and the girl’s 14-and-under 100 backstroke title twice.

“My winter coach, Illan Noach, thought I was taking it out too fast so he said I should take it out slower so I would have more energy and stay with them in the last fifty,” Chu said. “That is probably one of the best fifties I’ve ever had. I felt really good and had a lot of energy.”

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