Fernley swimmer overcomes scoliosis to place at State

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Three years ago, Auburn Mortenson wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to swim in a high school state championship meet, and not because she wasn’t sure her time would be fast enough.

But Saturday, she did it for the second time.

Mortenson, who had surgery for scoliosis in 2014, made her second appearance at the 3A State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Carson Aquatic Facility last Saturday.


Mortenson was one of two Fernley swimmers who competed in the state meet.

Lauren Adamson placed seventh in the girls 100 yard backstroke, with a time of 1:11.07.

Mortenson finished eighth in the girls 200 yard freestyle, with a time of 2:38.82. That was 49.09 seconds slower than the 3A state meet record time of 1:49.73 posted by winner Mandy Gebhart of Boulder City, but none of that mattered to Mortenson.

After taking time to catch her breath, Mortenson was pleased with herself, and her swim.

“I posted the same as at region, so that was good,” Mortenson said. “My goal was to swim the same time, to not add time.”

Mortenson qualified for State last year in the 500 yard freestyle, also placing eighth.

“I was excited because I’m more of a distance swimmer,” she said. “Sprinting is not my thing.”

Mortenson had surgery in 2014 to have two rods attached to her spine and pins placed in each vertebra.

“It’s a major accomplishment,” she said. “The doctor told me I’d probably never be able to do what I used to do, and I proved him wrong.”

Adamson was likewise pleased with her time, although she fell just short of her goal of setting a personal record.

“It was one of my better swims for the year,” Adamson said. “I was a little off (my PR), but I still thought I did pretty good.”

Adamson was also making her second appearance in the State meet, after qualifying in three events last year.

“It means a lot,” she said. “It feels real good, it makes me feel better about my swimming and stuff.”

Coach Matt Adamson said the Vaqueros had a successful season with a young team, many of whom had never swam competitively before

“To see them go from barely able to swim across the pool and then they’re swimming 50 yards, and pretty soon they’re swimming 100 and 200 yards, that’s as cool as watching the fast swimmers,” Matt Adamson said.

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