Monday, July 16, 2018
Sports

Plant High's Morgan Tankersley named national swimmer of the year

After setting three state records at last year's Class 4A state meet, Plant High School's Morgan Tankersley has earned lofty status.

On Tuesday, Swimming World named the senior the 2017 national female high school swimmer of the year. Reece Whitley of Pennsylvania was named the boys swimmer of the year. The two will appear on the cover of Swimming World's September issue.

Tankersley joins an impressive list. Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky were previous national swimmers of the year.

"We knew (Swimming World) was going to announce it on Aug. 1," Plant coach Gil Gonzalez said. "It's quite an honor. I know she's thrilled. I mean just look at some of the big names that have been on the cover in the past."

A big reason for Tankersley's rise to the top was her performance in individual events. She is ranked No. 1 nationally in the 200-yard freestyle (one minute, 44.31 seconds) and 500 free (4:37.60).

Those times were set at the 4A state meet in Vero Beach, where Tankersley had perhaps the greatest performance ever from a bay area swimmer. Besides winning and setting state records in the 200 and 500 free, Tankersley also set another record in the 100 free (48.69) with her leg in the winning 400 free relay and helped the Panthers finish second in the 200 medley relay.

Tankersley currently is getting ready for the junior nationals this weekend. She is ranked eighth nationally in the 2018 class by College Swimming.

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