Bruins qualify eight swimmers in state preliminaries

Thomas Jamieson-Lucy

The girls swim team had a strong showing at the preliminaries of the state meet qualifying eight swimmers and all three relays for the finals on Saturday.
Swimmers competing Saturday include freshman Libby Walker, sophomores Chelsea Tatlow, Hanna Flanagan, Kourtney Betz, Lily Salzer and Madeline Simon and seniors Bri Noltie and Kate Walker.
The girls made their mark today; Libby Walker qualified  in the 100 butterfly (seventh) and 500 free (sixth). Tatlow is seeded first with school record times in both the 200 free and 100 back, Flanagan qualified in the 200 individual medley (ninth) and 100 backstroke (third), Betz in the 50 free (15), Salzer in the 100 fly (16) and Simon in the 100 backstroke (13). Both seniors also did well – Noltie moves onto state in the 200 individual medley (13) and 100 breaststroke (tenth) and Kate Walker in the 100 fly (tenth) and 500 hundred free (11).
Rock Bridge also qualified three relay teams, all of which broke school records. The 200 medley relay team of Flanagan, Noltie, Kate, and Betz is seeded fourth, the 200 freestyle relay team of Betz, Simon, Salzer and Tatlow is seeded second and the 400 free relay team of Betz, Libby, Salzer, and Tatlow is also seeded second.
Head coach Karen Steger said the meet will be theirs to lose tomorrow. All they need to do is swim smart races and leave it all in the pool.
“The meet was incredible,” Steger said. It was ” the best prelims I’ve ever seen in nine years of coaching high school.”
The state finals begin Saturday at 3 p.m. where the team will have a chance to bring home the first ever state title in Rock Bridge swimming.
Check back for updates on state.
By Thomas Jamieson-Lucy