Zionsville’s Wrightson captures state backstroke title

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Zionsville Community High School senior Tessa Wrightson on the podium after taking first place in the 100-yard backstroke. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

Zionsville Community High School swimmer Tessa Wrightson capped her senior season in a fitting fashion.

Wrightson won the 100-yard backstroke in 54.02 seconds during the Feb. 10 IHSAA Girls State Swimming and Diving Finals at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI. She was the fastest in prelims, too, at 54 seconds flat.

“I was really excited about it,” Wrightson said of her first high school state championship medal. “Beforehand, my coach (assistant coach Eric Meyer) really helped me out and calmed me down. I really learned a lot from that and I’ve learned a lot from him and the rest of the coaches as well. I’ve had a good team with my coaches and teammates and appreciate everything they’ve done for me.”

Wrightson finished third in the 50 freestyle and was on the 400 freestyle relay team, which placed sixth. Her relay teammates were seniors Claire Brewer and Vic Thomae and freshman Elyse Heiser. The same four were on the eighth-place 200 medley relay team.

As a junior, Wrightson placed second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 backstroke.  As a sophomore, she was fourth in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 200 individual medley. She was eighth in the 100 backstroke as a freshman.

Wrightson signed in November to swim for Purdue for the 2018-19 season.

“The campus felt like home, and the coaches and teammates really welcomed me,” Wrightson said.

Wrightson competed in the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials at the IU Natatorium last summer.

“It definitely (helped). It gave me a bigger perspective on things since it was such a big meet,” she said. “This (state high school meet) was just for Indiana, but it’s really intense and fun to compete in.”

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