Swim team advances to finals at State


Taylor Spencer

While swimming the 400 free relay, senior Abby Wampler turns to take a breath. The relay placed 16th at the State finals on Feb. 18 at St. Peters Rec Plex, which made it the school’s first relay in a decade to place in the top 16 at State.

Carrie Sandler, Editor-in-cheif

Girls swim placed 25th at the Class 1 State Championships held at St. Peter’s Recreational Complex Feb. 17-18.

The team that went to state consisted of 10 girls,  swimming in six events in the preliminary round, and three events in the final round. The final round consisted of three events: the 200 IM and the 100 Breast for individual, and the 400 Free for relays. Senior Abby Wampler swam in all three events, and said she prepared to do so by making sure she utilized her power and momentum whenever she could. 

“I wanted to focus on my underwater and make them longer, focus on my turns and my start off the block so I could have more power and momentum going into the water,” Wampler said. “Normally I have a really bad habit of psyching myself out before races because I get so nervous, so this time I just focused on having fun and not worrying about the competition because it was my last time competing at the high school level.”

Wampler placed fourth in the 200 IM, ninth in the 100 Breast, and placed 16rh in the 400 Free, which she said was very cool because it had not been done before. 

“[By placing 16 in the finals], it made us the first relay in about a decade to place top 16 at a final relay at State, which was really cool to be a part of,” Wampler said.

Head coach Lucas Benson said he prepared all the athletes for the meet by cutting down yardage and emphasizing rest before State.

“We tried to utilize things like the weight room to try to build up some strength there and then every day we are working on building up our skills and our overall endurance,” Benson said. “We also tapered down yardage before State in order to keep that intensity, but we gave ourselves time so that our muscles could heal from all the work we were doing.”

One of the athletes who used this strategy was freshman Lily Maginn. Maginn said she prepared by taking care of herself before and adjusting her focus on her different events.

“I tried to get a lot of sleep and eat well in the days leading up to State,” Maginn said. “My strategy was to mainly focus on my 100 Fly which was my second event, but I ended up doing better in the 200 IM where I placed 21st out of 100.” 

Because of her personal wins at State this year, Wampler said that out of all the State meets she has attended, this one has been the most memorable. 

“I’ve gone to State all four years, and this meet was the highlight of my State meets because it was my last time and I knew at the end of the day [swimming] was about me having fun and being with [my teammates] for the last time and being able to compete with them,” Wampler said. “It was really sad because I enjoyed swimming as it is a big part of my life and I am sad to see it come to an end. However, it was an exciting meet as a whole because I think I had the most fun I’ve had at a meet because it was about having fun and supporting [my teammates].”

As for Maginn who has only been to State once, she said she had a great experience and plans to use it to prepare for her future meets.

“It was exciting to compete at State as a freshman because it was a fun experience and environment,” Maginn said. “My experience at State this year has definitely motivated me to work hard and improve to hopefully make it to finals in State next year.”

Overall, Benson said he was happy with the team’s performance at State, and is looking forward to what the team will look like next year. 

“We had a really positive finish at State; we had our first State finals relay which was really exciting. I was really pleased at how everything came together, especially the girls because they were a really good cohesive group,” Benson said. “I think what’s most exciting for next year though is to see how the other swimmers fill the team’s gaps, since we have 12 seniors graduating. But because we’re graduating that many seniors, some of these girls will have an opportunity that they didn’t have before which is pretty exciting.”