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Hard work helped put Port Jefferson's Kyra Sommerstad in winner's circle at state tournament

Port Jefferson's Kyra Sommerstad swims in the finals

Port Jefferson's Kyra Sommerstad swims in the finals of the 100 yard backstroke during the 2018 NYSPHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving Championships in Ithaca, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Credit: Adrian Kraus

Unlike most swimmers who head to the state tournament and leave their teammates behind, Kyra Sommerstad’s experience was different.

The Port Jefferson junior, who swims as an independent because her school doesn’t have a team, spent all season practicing with the Three Village Swim Club. But when it came time for the state tournament, she finally had the support of a team behind her.

“Section XI is my team when I go up there and it’s an amazing feeling knowing that they’re cheering me on,” Sommerstad said. “It definitely helps me.”

Sommerstad’s hard work paid off as she won the state 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 2.89 seconds at Ithaca College Nov.17.

“It was the little things that I was working on a lot that helped me,” Sommerstad said. “Kick outs, underwaters, turns and starts, it really just pays off in the end.

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