Paige Braun is a junior swimmer for the Mason City Mohawks. She qualified to compete in three relays (200 Medley-Backstroke, 200 Freestyle, and 400 Freestyle) with team leading times. Paige swam fast enough to qualify for the 100 individual freestyle, but chose not to compete at regionals so she could focus on the team benefit of qualifying in relay events. Paige struggled with a breathing condition (VCD...vocal chord dysfunction, asthma, and the resulting pseudo-seizures (also referred to as non-epileptic episodes) brought on by the anxiety of the vocal chord dysfunction) her freshman year and could not compete at Regionals. After learning a hybrid breathing technique from an expert doctor, Dr. Tod Olin, in Denver, and seeking extended treatment for pseudo-seizures at the Mayo Clinic, she has mostly controlled her symptoms. Paige has become the ultimate team swimmer on a balanced Mohawk team, even while experiencing continued, but infrequent pseudo-seizures. She has learned to be more disciplined, strong, confident, and resilient through her continued participation in swimming through all this! Paige has achieved personal growth and is a great, kind, and humble #Iowagirl student athlete!

Madison Braun is also a junior swimmer for the Mason City Mohawks. She qualified to compete in two relays and one individual event (200 Medley-Breaststroke, 200 Frestyle, and 100 Breaststroke) and was the Fort Dodge Regional Champion in the 100 Breaststroke. Madison endured a severe dislocation of her left knee cap after ther first practice during freshman year. She completed the season, but was unable to perform at her best. Following several months of treatment, it was determined that she needed MPFL (medial patella femoral ligament reconstruction) surgery to stabilize her knee cap. She recovered, trained, and competed her sophomore year well enough to qualify for State and has enjoyed success again her junior season.

-submitted by their father, Greg Braun

The IGHSAU is committed to sharing the stories of high school female athletes. We believe a strong narrative can empower and inspire other females to try more, go the distance, and persevere in the face of hardship. That's why we want you -- parent, friend, athlete, coach -- to share the story of an Iowa Girl that inspires you. What makes their story special? What have they overcome or accomplished? Is there something beyond the sport that makes their story especially unique? We want to know.

To submit, you can either:
1. Email your story to [email protected].
2. Post your story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #ShareHerStory and tag @IGHSAU

Be sure to include the athlete's name, school, and a picture!