Girls’ swimming triumphs at CoMo Invitational


Skyler Froese

[dropcap style=”flat” size=”2″]F[/dropcap]or the second year in a row, the RBHS girls’ swim team dominated on their home turf, or rather in their home water. On Saturday Jan. 16 at the Mizzou Rec. Center the Bruins came in first at the annual CoMo Invitational out of the twenty teams in attendance at the meet, with the second place finishers, Hickman High School, ending the meet 14 points behind the Lady Bruins.  
Through preliminaries and finals, RBHS added eight new state qualifiers and posted top times in state this season in the 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly, from Kelley Tackett and Ellie Flanagan, respectively. Five of the meet’s 11  events were won by RBHS swimmers, and six events would see a Bruin earn second. In the 100 yard backstroke and 100 yard breaststroke the squad went one, two, both times the silver medalist being sophomore Ellie Zweifel.
“When you swim one event you try to push your body to its breaking point and you need at least ten minutes of swimming recovery in between.” Zweifel said. “When you go back to back with about five minutes in between you can’t get those ten minutes of recovery. It’s just physically hard on the body and not many people can do it.”
Zweifel hopes to repeat a performance of this caliber at the championships this February, and believes that the team as a whole will do well at state because some of the swims posted at the meet by her teammates were markedly faster than their times at State last year.
“We had a lot of best times today, it’s pretty early in the season to be going best times so I’m pretty excited about what things look like.” Wacker said. “There’s a lot of things I can see in the water that we need to work on … there’s room for improvement which is the exciting thing because we already swam pretty fast today. Seeing those things we have to work on are just going to make us more excited to see what happens at state.”
Unlike most of the meets that the Bruins attend, the CoMo Invitational has the same preliminaries and finals format as the State Championships. The pool is also popularly regarded as the fastest in the region. According to senior Sydney Magee, this creates an atmosphere that pushes swimmers to be competitive.
“When you have just finals you feel a little more pressure to get a good time,” Magee said, “But with prelims and finals it allows you, if you don’t have as great of a swim as you wanted to, to kind of forget about it and come back more intense in finals.”  
Zweifel also noticed this through the day, but sees it as a reason to try and work on keeping a high energy level through preliminaries. Wacker also notes this and attributes some of the speed seen during finals to the special suits made for speed that they wore for finals, as well as her team’s competitive spirit between themselves and other teams’ swimmers.
[quote cite=”Laura Wacker”]“We had a lot of best times today, its pretty early in the season to be going best times so I’m pretty excited about what things look like.”[/quote]
Typically this meet happens the first week of January, however due to a scheduling conflict this year the meet was moved to be two weeks later. This caused several of the teams who usually attend to not participate this year. This concerned Wacker that her swimmers wouldn’t have the stiff competition that usually drives them to swim as well as they typically do at the meet.
“I wasn’t expecting us to go this fast because you’re missing a lot of teams that usually come to this meet.” Wacker said. “We’re down about 120 swimmers, some of those are the best swimmers in the state, so I thought that would affect us, but it turns out it didn’t really affect us.”
The Lady Bruins will compete again on January 23 in Cape Girardeau at the annual City of Roses Invitational. For coverage of the meet, be sure to check out The Rock’s January issue.