Bruins take third at state championships


Photo by Abby Blitz

Ann Fitzmaurice

[dropcap size=”4″]G[/dropcap]oing into the MSHSAA state championships earlier today, Nov. 5, senior Paul Cover had high hopes. He knew it would be a tough event, but was ready to race to the best of his ability. Swimming a 50.74 in the 100m Butterfly, Cover took fourth place at the tournament.
“[During the races] everybody always goes nuts,” Cover said. “We sit right by the competition pool, so the team is the first thing you see when you parade out, and they’re on their feet screaming. It’s an amazing feeling.”
The Bruins placed third at the state championships, with effort evident from each athlete. Just a half a point away from second place, head coach Zach Mertens said the small division between placements was somewhat difficult to swallow; however, it was an amazing competition to be able to participate in.
“The other teams were tremendously fast and incredibly deep in comparison to previous years,” Mertens said. “In many occasions, swims that would have scored major points [for us] wouldn’t have even come close this year.”

“Everyone was racing [with their] best times, so it’s impossible to be upset with that.” Paul Cover, senior

The tough competition pushed the team to churn out faster swims, Mertens said, allowing the Bruins to break a couple of records. Each member of the team brought their all in order to place well.
“There [are] always ways to improve, but I have every event and I think that’s all that matters,” junior Zach Lorson, who placed fourth in the 100m Breaststroke, said.
As for the team, the Bruins were fairly content with placing third, Cover said. The team was energetic and supportive of every event, channeling their energy to finish the season with a bang.
“Of course it would be nice to win, but everybody swam really well,” Cover said. “Everyone was racing [with their] best times, so it’s impossible to be upset with that.”
Last year, RBHS won the state championships, and this is the third straight year the Bruins have come home with a team trophy and the fourth time in program’s history. With these placings, the Bruins have set a standard for themselves in Missouri.
“It’s easy to fall into thinking that swimming is just and individual sport,” Cover said. “Having a big, loud [and] supportive team is a good reminder that you’re actually representing something much bigger.”
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