Girls swimming clinches state championship


The RBHS Girls Swimming and Diving team receives their state championship trophy. Photo courtesy of the RBHS Bruin Bear.

Jenna Liu

Yesterday, the RBHS girls swimming team captured the 2015 MSHSAA state Swimming and Diving championship, a dramatic jump from team’s 8th place finish at last year’s state meet. Throughout most the competition this year, the Bruins remained on top, eventually posting a 60 point differential between them and 2nd place finisher Glendale High School.
Glendale was coming into the competition looking for its third consecutive state championship, a streak that the Bruins were able to break.
Junior Kelley Tackett, who earned two 2nd place finishes in the 200 yd. individual medley and 500 yd. freestyle in addition to being part of the 1st place 400 yd. freestyle relay, said this year’s success was a result of the many newcomers on the team.
“We have a ton of new swimmers, which gave us the depth we needed to win a state championship,” Tackett said.
According to Tackett, the team started the season with the goal of placing in the top three and structured their practices around this aim. With all the preparation the girls went through, they went into the state meet with conviction and a winning mindset.
“We knew we had a good chance of winning,” Tackett said. “It definitely gave us the confidence needed to push ourselves beyond what we thought we could do.”
Adding to that sentiment, RBHS girls swimming coach Laura Wacker said the Bruins were the favorites going into the competition, but also made note that a lot can change at meets. Despite this uncertainty, the Bruins still managed to have one of their best showings at state  ever, with with the team sending swimmers to every single event final, save one.
“When the last relay finished with a first and we had the title won, I was flooded with many emotions!  Pride, relief, happiness and accomplishment,” Wacker said.  “I was so happy for these girls who had put so much work in this year.
With the high of winning RBHS’ second state swimming and diving championship in history still going strong, all Tackett had to say about the day was praise for her fellow teammates.
“We’re extremely excited and exhausted,” Tackett said. “The atmosphere has been electric since this morning and we’re all so proud of each other.”