Winter Juniors Qualifier Gracey Payne Verbally Commits to Ball State (2021)

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Gracey Payne has verbally committed to swim for Ball State University beginning in the fall of 2021.

Gracey Payne of Franklin, IN has announced her decision to remain in-state, with her verbal commitment to swim at Ball State University beginning in the 2021-2022 season. She shared the news with the following, “I am super excited to announce my verbal commitment to Ball State University where I will continue my academic and swimming career. Ball State immediately felt like home and I’m looking forward to being a part of the Cardinal family in 2021! Thank you to Coach J and everyone that helped me through the process of making this decision. GO CARDS! Chirp Chirp!”

Payne swims year-round for the Franklin Regional Swim Team. In 2018, the sprint specialist competed at the Indiana Age Group State Championships. She swam the 50, 100, and 200 free, the 100 and 200 breast, and the 200 IM. She earned personal best times in 4 of the events: 50 and 200 free, 100 breast, and 200 IM. Later that year, she qualified for the Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East in the 50 and 100 free. She placed 143rd in the 50 free (24.25) and 122nd in the 100 (53.63), going season-best times in both events.

Payne is completing her junior year at Franklin Community High School. She is a 2x 2020 IHSAA Franklin Girls Section champion. She was seeded 2nd after the prelims heats of the 50 free (24.44) behind teammate Lucy Ho. She dropped 0.65 seconds during finals to earn the gold medal. Ho followed closely for the silver medal. In the 100 free, Payne finished 4th in prelims, but moved to first in finals, crushing her prelims time by 2.15 seconds. Her time of 52.03 gave her the victory by 1.11 seconds ahead of Addison Daily of Whiteland High School. The women of Franklin Community High took home gold medals from 10 of the 11 swimming events and earned enough points to secure a victory at the meet.

Top SCY Times:

  • 50 free – 23.37
  • 100 free – 51.30
  • 200 IM – 2:06.10
  • 100 back – 58.52
  • 200 free – 1:54.50
  • 200 breast – 2:27.19
  • 100 breast – 1:07.54

When she joins the team in the fall, Payne will get to swim alongside Ball State’s top spinter Aspara Sakbun. Payne will be seeded right behind Sakbun in the 50 and 100 free, but she will be seeded first in the 200 free. Her would also make her the team’s fastest 200 IMer, as Sophie Bader will be graduating in the spring of 2020. These times would also have allowed her to score points at the 2020 Mid-American Championships. Her 50 and 100 free would have placed her in the B-finals and her ranking amongst the Ball State women could place her on some freestyle relays. Payne will be a member of the class of 2025.

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