Lynlee Spinhirne, Vega swimming, Jr.
In the pool: It was appropriate that in the first ever Class 4A state swim meet in San Antonio, Spinhirne would make some local swimming history. As the first (and so far, only) swimmer from Vega to reach the state meet, Spinhirne forever placed herself in the state’s record books in the 100-yard backstroke. Spinhirne, who entered the finals as the No. 3 seed after prelims, emerged with a gold medal Friday, winning with a personal best time of 58.80 seconds, over a second faster than runner-up Sophie Stowers of Brazosport. It was the first time an area girls swimmer had won a gold at the state meet since Tascosa’s Lisa Martinez in the 200 Individual medley in 1981, and only the third overall, according to the UIL website. Spinhirne also qualified in the 100 butterfly, where she finished sixth. Since Vega has no swim team, Spihhirne, who went to the state meet last year in 5A, is coached by her mother Angela.
Angela Spinhirne: “I felt like she could do it and I knew that in the rankings she was probably in the top spot for it, but you never know. When she did prelims, she was in a slower heat, so she did not go all out and kind of had fun. That night we watched the film and talked to her about it, and the next day right before she was about to go into finals, I was trying to tell her details and remember to put her head back and other details, and I could see it in her eyes and told her to do her thing and leave it in the pool. From where I was standing it looked like a closer race. I was nervous the whole time. I think it was down probably to the last 15 yards where I could finally tell for sure. If you watch the video, you can tell she’s ahead after the first turn.”
Lynlee Spinhirne: “I think one of my first goals was to definitely focus on myself because every other athlete has problems worrying about how opponents are doing. You can’t really do anything about that. I also made a big deal about not being nervous going into any of my races. My last goal was to at least get a personal best on the backstroke because I hadn’t done that all year. I was just shooting for about a 59 but a 58 would have been nice and a 57 would have been crazy. I would say a big thing I learned from last year at state was you never know who’s going to beat you. You always just work on yourself and never worry about what anyone else is doing.”
Favorite band or musician: Eminem
Favorite social media platform: Snapchat
Favorite athlete: Regan Smith, former world record holder in the 100 back
Bet you didn’t know: Has an unpopular food opinion that mayonnaise belongs on hot dogs.
Parents: Lucas and Angela Spinhirne