Dwelley lingered in the pool as the announcer recounted her eight NCS titles and the crowd poolside continued to erupt with applause. Then she took a couple of cool-down laps, toweled off and entertained questions from reporters.
Just as it seemed the NCS had seen its last of Dwelley and she had taken her final bow, the mild-mannered Olympic hopeful treated the spectators at Concord Community Pool to an encore performance for the ages.
Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise that Dwelley, who set a new Bay Valley Athletic League Swim Championships record in the 50 free just a week earlier as the opening leg of Liberty's girls 200-free relay team, had one last sensational swim left in her.
Carondelet freshman Kasey Carlson made a splash earlier in the day, setting a new NCS record in the 50 free, edging out Campolindo's Kim Vandenberg's 7-year old record by .04 seconds - the blink of an eye. That's about as long as she was able to enjoy her reign as an NCS record-holder.
Dwelley, once again swimming the opening leg for Liberty's 200-free relay team, chopped an additional .07 seconds off of Carlson's time, reestablishing the record to 22.97 seconds - just over a half second behind the national high school record - in her final two laps as a high school swimmer.
"It's awesome swimming with Kate. She's a great swimmer and she really pushes all of us because she's somebody we all strive to be - she pumps us up," said teammate and close friend Katelyn Brix, who is bound for Ohio State in the fall.
Dwelley came into the championship meet with her sights set on the national high school record of 1:45.49 in the 200 free set by Rhi Jeffrey of Delray Beach, Fla. Although Dwelley finished the event in NCS record time, besting her own previous record time of 1:46.28 by nearly a third of a second, she finished nearly a half second behind Jeffrey's 5-year old mark.
Dwelley barely missed a third NCS record, as her first-place finish in the 100 free was just .05 seconds off of Vandenberg's 7-year old record. "Both races felt awesome," said Dwelley. "I was disappointed that I didn't break the records, but I got best times in both and you can't complain about best times. I'm really happy with the whole thing. It was really exciting (to hear the eight NCS titles announced). I just thought about how much fun I had the whole time doing it."
Brix also had a stellar day for the Lady Lions, finishing third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free, as well as swimming a leg for the 200-free relay team, which finished fourth.