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Haley sets school record at LSU

By: Matt Long
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Sara Haley knew if she wanted to improve she had to work harder. The 19-year-old sophomore at Louisiana State University and 2009 graduate of Oak Ridge High devoted more time and energy into improving herself as an athlete and a swimmer and that hard work paid off Feb. 18-19 at the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships. Haley placed third in the 200-yard butterfly with a LSU school-record time of 1 minute, 56.82 seconds. She also swam a personal-best time in the 100-yard butterfly of 53.17, which is also a top-10 time at LSU. “I knew I was swimming fast and I expected to break the school record of 1:58.15 and when I looked up and saw that I did I was just really relieved,” Haley said. “I was so excited that my hard work had paid off.” LSU co-head swimming coach, Dave Geyer, was just as happy as Haley to see her get the results she was after. “Sara had an outstanding short-course season,” Geyer said. “I think coming off the summer she was a little disappointed with her performances and made the decision that she wanted to be fast. She made some great adjustments outside of the water in terms of her dry-land training and her diet and those decisions helped her improve her training in the water.” Haley added, “I trained hard all season, just making healthy choices with my diet and making my body leaner and I did a lot of cross-training and a lot of running.” Up next for Haley and the LSU Tigers, whose women placed fifth in the conference championships, is the NCAA National Championships at the University of Texas in Austin on March 17-19. Haley will compete in both butterfly races, as well as the 500 freestyle and possible a relay. “My goal is to place in the top-16 in the 200 fly,” Haley said. “This is my first NCAA so I really don’t know how fast it’s going to be.” Haley, a sports administration major, loves her new home in Baton Rouge. “I love it here,” she said, “Everything about it: the team, the coaches, the classes, the campus. I love being a student-athlete here. Sports are huge here; especially football, and all the athletes are treated like gold. This is my new home now and my new family.”