RYE, N.Y. – Melissa Fulenwider wanted to make her final Westchester County Swimming Association “Counties” Championships memorable, and she accomplished her goal.
The 17-year-old Rye senior won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2 minutes 13.34 seconds Monday at the pool at Playland Amusement Park.
Fulenwider, swimming for the American Yacht Club, missed the 2011 county championships in preparation for Junior Nationals. She was looking forward to a return to Playland.
“I have been swimming here every year since I was 8,” said Fulenwider, who finished three full seconds ahead of the runner-up. “I thought that last year was going to be the last year, but it was really good to come back in my last year and swim.”
Fulenwider won her heat, resulting in her winning the title. Prior to missing the 2011 championships, Fulenwider was the girls high-point winner in the 17-and-under division in 2010.
Fulenwider felt confident that once it came time for the breaststroke and freestyle, she would take off.
“The breaststroke and freestyle are my stronger strokes, so I wanted to really bring it home in those two,” said Fulenwider, who will compete at Junior Nationals Aug. 13-17 at Indiana University. “I felt I went out strong, but when I got to the breaststroke, I was able to get ahead and felt really good.”