Girls’ swim and dive take first place at Cape Girardeau Invite


Ryan Choe

The RBHS Girls’ swim and dive team competed in the Cape Girardeau Invite from Friday Jan. 19 to Saturday Jan. 20, and brought home a first place finish. The team competed against 32 other schools, but were able to beat out the competition by totaling 242 points.
Sophomore Ansley Barnes swam in the 50 meter freestyle, 500 meter freestyle and the 200 meter freestyle relay events. Barnes’ time for the 500 meter freestyle qualified her for the state championship. She swam in the same event at the state championships last year, and was ecstatic with the overall result and performance of the team as a whole and enjoyed swimming the 200 meter freestyle relay with her teammates.
“This [200 meter freestyle relay] event was without a doubt the most fun race that I swam because swimming a race with your teammates is always incredibly exciting,” Barnes said. “Rock Bridge, as a whole, had a lot of really good swims. Both more automatic and consideration state cuts were achieved, as well as a lot of personal best times, which was really exciting to watch.”
Barnes racked up 15 individual points for RBHS and finished 18th in the 50 meter freestyle and fourth in the 500 meter freestyle events. She was also a member of the fourth place team in the 200 meter freestyle relay event. Barnes also talked about some improvements and adjustments the team might need to make with the state championship meet coming up in three weeks. Among the list of improvements for Barnes are the 200 and 400 meter freestyle relays.
“I would say that after this meet we should work on improving our relays, particularly the 200 and 400 free,” Barnes said. “This is not to say that these relays swam poorly, because they did not [and] I [thought] they swam very well. I just think that we could improve these two events because relays are such big point scorers at state, so we need them to go as perfectly as possible so that we can achieve our goal of being the state champions.”
Fellow teammate junior Piper Osman, who competed in the 200 meter medley relay, 400 meter freestyle relay, 100 meter freestyle and 50 meter freestyle events, believed that the meet helped strengthen the team bond. While Osman points out that the meet did not display her best performances, she was overall very pleased with the effort and support the team showed for each other.
“This meet is about more than the swimming since it’s our one overnight meet outside of [the] state [championship meet],” Osman said. “This meet is one of team bonding and I’m [also] pleased with how the meet went for me as I stayed near my times while swimming [in] my ‘off events’, [which are] basically just not my [strongest] events.”
Osman earned one individual point for the team with her 16th place finish in the 100 meter freestyle event, even though it was an ‘off’ event for her. She also finished 25th place in the 50 meter freestyle event and was a member of the first place 200 meter medley relay and 11th place 400 meter freestyle relay teams.
[quote]“This meet is about more than the swimming since it’s our one overnight meet outside of [the] state [championship meet],” Osman said. [/quote] Head swim coach Taylor Birsa was impressed with the work from Barnes and Osman this season, as she noticed their fantastic work ethic in the pool and solid finishing times that they have produced this season so far. According to Birsa, both girls will be attending the state championship meet.
“This meet was [all around very] good,” Birsa said. “A lot of girls swam ‘off’ events to challenge themselves or take a break from their normal [and stronger] events they swim [in]. You could tell we were tired, but I was glad the girls swam their ‘off’ events and placed well in those events. We came into this meet a little tired, which is perfectly fine, [and it was] a great experience for the girls to race while their [bodies were] tired.”
One thing Birsa plans to emphasize to the team is that they need to swim smart even when we are tired. Birsa describes how there are only three more meets until the ‘big dance’ and state championship meet. Birsa believes the team need to buckle down and really concentrate on swimming hard at practice to set us up for a great state championship meet. Barnes believes the team can perform at a high level with this in mind.
“I think that winning the meet at this point in the season says good things about our upcoming state [championship] meet.’ Barnes said. “With that being said, however, I think that I can speak on behalf of both myself and the rest of the RB swim team when I say that we won’t be truly satisfied until we win state, which is our main goal this season.”
Have you ever been to an RBHS Girls’ swim and dive meet? Let us know in the comments below.