Girls swim earn fourth place at sectionals


courtesy Elin Wall

The girls swim team taking a group picture at the end of sectionals after having three teamates qualify for state championships in their individual races.

The girl’s swim team had an impressive showing at sectionals, qualifying two relays and six individual events to state. The team finished in fourth place overall.

The meet started out with a win in the 200-medley relay. 

“That was really an amazing moment to start out the meet, really get our energy up because it is a long meet, so having that first race at the meet and that first secure win after the first event was awesome for our relay team,” said Elise Jacobs, senior.

Jacobs won the 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley and qualified in the 50-meter backstroke. Other qualifiers include Gretchen Lotter in the 100, 200, and 500 free, and Mary Jane Deweerdt in the 50 and 100 free. The 400 free relay also qualified.

The team was a little different this year, with just ten swimmers competing at Sectionals. 

“This was the smallest team we’ve had in all my years of swimming, so … it was definitely a closer experience,” said Lotter. “In this case, you would really bond with people, and I liked that.” 

Being involved in the team leaves swimmers with lasting life lessons.

“The coach sets them up to be great leaders, [so everyone], whether a sophomore, senior, or junior, is motivated in their own way to do their best. I think there’s a really strong mindset within everyone, and I know that they’re going to do great in the future,” said Jacobs.

This year there was fierce competition at Sectionals.

“All the teams there were really hard, you definitely saw that none of them were really cutting back. It was fun, but it was definitely a challenge to race against them,” Lotter said.

“It was really fun to race against different relay teams in the relays and see different swimmers in different events, to give us a stepping stone in order to reach our full potential and capacity as fast swimmers at state, it was a nice step up for us before we reached state,” said Jacobs.

The small team, while helping create a close and positive environment, could be seen as a disadvantage when it came to Sectionals.

“As a team, because we had a small group of people we wanted to make every event count, and do our best in our sectional,” Jacobs said. “For our relay team, we just needed to get to state, and those were kind of our team goals because we didn’t have the numbers, but we had the people to do our best.”

The four seniors and co-capitans competing truly understood the weight of this meet.

“I really valued the spirit of this experience and making the most out of it, … it was my last shot as a senior with my relays and team, so I knew that I wanted them to get to state,” said Jacobs.

“I think we were all just looking to have fun, trying to experience sectionals in a more normal sense. Because even last year it wasn’t quite normal, [so the goals were to] just have fun, and experience sectionals,” Lotter said.

They managed to qualify both of their relays into the top eight in the state, meaning they would be in the fast heat, also achieving 9 personal bests in the meet.

“We were all together and we got to cheer for everybody, … I feel like that was my favorite part,” Lotter said. 

The season has concluded, with an impressive ninth-place finish. The girls are very proud of what they’ve managed to achieve, and full of hope for the future.

“Thank you for a good season and good luck to the boys,” Lotter said.