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Saturday, March 24, 2018

photo courtesy of Erin Kaufman

Glendive's Kaufman shattering state swim records

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Glendive Wet Devil Brittany Kaufman continues to rewrite the state’s swimming records, setting three State Federation yard-pool records at the state meet in Hamilton last weekend.

Kaufman’s mother, Erin, said they “had no idea” what the Federation records were going into Hamilton, having swam in meter pools all season. But Brittany didn’t have to know the records to break them.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Kaufman set the Federation state record in prelims with a time of 1:00.35, and then broke it with a time of 59.8 in the final. The fastest time in the United States by a girl 12-years-old or under is 50.27, set by Olympian Missy Franklin in 2008. Malta was a short course, too, so Kaufman lost some time working in one turn. She estimates about two seconds are lost making a turn, which puts her within eight seconds of Franklin.

Kaufman’s even closer to national records in the backstroke. She set a Federation state yard-pool record for the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 31.24 in prelims, and then won the event with a time of 31.91. The US record is 25.69, set by Regan Smith of Minnesota two years ago.

Kaufman also set the Federation state record for the 50-meter backstroke at Divisionals in Malta with a time of 34.49. She swam the fastest 200-yard individual medley in the state’s history at that age as well, finishing in 2:41.25.

Kaufman, who recently turned 12 years old and will have a chance to break her own records next year, was the top swimmer among her age and gender at state. In every event she participated, she took first, including relays.

The Wet Devils’ 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Kaufman, Mallory Robinson, Mataya Tipton and Shelby Schneider, took the gold with a time of 2:02.83. The same group also won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:21.62. The group of the group, minus Schneider, will return as 12 year olds next season.

Although Kaufman has continued to dominate despite swimming only the summers, she likes it that way.

“I like how it’s a summer activity because I get a break,” she said, adding she plays volleyball and basketball as well, but swimming is her favorite.

Kaufman won’t be watching the Olympics despite swimmer Michael Phelps going for a record number of individual medals. She said she’s never really been into the Olympics, but it doesn’t seem she needs the motivation.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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