Racing to the finish of the 2017-2018 season, the swim team competed at one of the last meets of the year, districts, on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Keller Natatorium. Already a record breaking season, the student-athletes seemed to exceed expectations, breaking their previous records, with the girls team placing third overall and 10 athletes qualified for individual events at Regionals as well as all six relays; the boys team placed fourth in the standings.
With the past five months leading up to the final moments in hopes of finishing first, meets has been filled with hard work and dedication as athletes prep to reach their ultimate goal of state. For swimmers like junior Samantha Sandusky, the season has been filled with numerous surprises and changes from previous years, with both a younger group of athletes and a new coach propelling them into a new order within the program.
“Districts is important because it leads up to regions,” said Sandusky, “In order to make it on to the next step in each event we are competing in, we have to place within the top six. There’s definitely a lot of competition within the District teams, and all you can really do is prepare and wait to see if the results pay off. For us this year, we had several athletes who competed beyond expectations. To have 10 swimmers make it to regions is great, and I can’t wait to see where we can go from there.”
Districts consisted of seven different schools competing, such as Keller and Byron. This season’s swimmers are considered a young team, mostly consisting of freshmen and sophomores, and viewed as a great opportunity to grow and improve. With both a new coach and several key underclassmen playing a role in the team’s relays and high scores, the team has had to learn how to adapt.
“It’s been an interesting year since we’ve had to adapt to a new coach,” Sandusky commented. “We’ve definitely had some setbacks throughout the season with key individuals getting injured, but this year, we’ve spent more time focusing on the actual process and technique rather than just the transitions and adjustments of speed, which has helped a lot. Overall, I think the team can definitely succeed in making it back to State within the next few years and even go on to break more records…with so many young teammates, we definitely have a lot of work left, but also a lot more to expect from the team.”
Below are listed the athletes who placed within the district’s top eight, with the top six making it to the 2018 Regions; congratulations to all.
Maci Finder – DISTRICT CHAMPION 200 freestyle (new team record) & 500 freestyle
Mia Cicerelli – DISTRICT CHAMPION 100 freestyle & 2nd 50 freestyle (current record holder)
Serena Shabout – 6th 200 IM & 5th 100 Breast stroke (new team record) regional qualifier
Molly Donaldson – 7th 200 IM & 6th 100 butterfly
Carolyn Kosek – 8th 50 freestyle & 8th 100 freestyle
Karson Gopffarth – 5th 50 freestyle & 6th 100 freestyle
Anna Hankins – 7th 100 freestyle & 7th 100 backstroke
Pierce Phrasavath – 7th 100 freestyle & 8th 100 breaststroke
Nicolas Eriksen – 8th 100 freestyle & 6th 100 breaststroke
Josie Gunn – 6th 500 freestyle & 6th 100 breaststroke
Samantha Sandusky – 5th 100 backstroke
Colin Warwick – 6th 100 backstroke