Swimming finishes post season at state

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Eight girls will compete for the Bruins tomorrow at the State Championships. Photo by Stazi Prost.

Kaitlyn Marsh

Head coach Peter Willet talks to junior swimmer Ashley Shahan during the meet. Photo by Laurel Critchfield
Head coach Peter Willet talks to junior swimmer Ashley Shahan during the meet. Photo by Laurel Critchfield
Finishing up a two-day state championship meet at St. Peter’s Rec-Plex in St. Louis, the girls swimming and diving team ended their respectable season. After sending 13 individual qualifiers to compete alone and as a team, the girls took 15th in the state out of 48 teams competing and gained a state champion in the 200 meter freestyle.
Freshman Kelly Tackett took first all-around in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 meter freestyle only to a state record holder, as well as breaking an alleged school record in the 500 freestyle at 4:56, previously set at 5:03, junior Ashley Shahan said.
As a part of the individual qualifiers, out of freshmen Anna Willcoxon, Tackett, Alexis Peery and Katherine Lydon, sophomores Danielle Cox and Kyra Florea, juniors Shahan, Samantha See, Abby Stone and Alexa Zimmerman and seniors Clara Phillips, Annie Rumpf and Maggie Washer, three relays  qualified for prelims yesterday. Although only one relay made it to the finals today, Tackett, Peery and Lydon placed first in the consolation heat.
“Rock Bridge had amazing performances on both Friday and Saturday,” Shahan said. “We qualified all three relays for state and really showed what we were made of. In 400 freestyle finals, Rock Bridge was in the consolation heat, but everyone got behind each other, and we blew the other teams out of the water, where we moved up from 14th to 9th [in the finals]. Everyone was cheering and supporting each other throughout the entire meet.”
Although Shanan was only an alternate for the 200 meter medley relay, which unfortunately didn’t qualify for finals today, she looks back on the season and realizes how far they have come and what is possible with continued effort and training.
“I would say the best part about this season was getting to see everyone progress from the beginning of the season to our last meet,” Shahan said. “We have come so far as individuals and as a team. This season has been wonderful, and I can’t wait to see where we are next year.”
With no regrets regarding this past season, Shahan has even higher hopes for next year as the team will be continuing to train the underclassmen and hopefully gaining some new freshmen as well. Although maybe a small let down after last year’s state championships, the girls come home with their heads high and ready for a rematch next February.
“I honestly believe we have nowhere to go but up,” Shahan said. “The majority of our team this year was comprised of freshmen, and if they return next year, they will be even more experienced and will help us accomplish the ultimate goal: winning state. But a state team needs more than just returning swimmers; we had several races this season [where] swimmers didn’t achieve the times they wanted, and I feel that with that in mind, we will have a better mindset for the new season.”
By Kaitlyn Marsh