After being snowed out of team practice for the last three days of the season, the Bears came together on Saturday Feb. 1st to travel to Marietta to compete in the Spartan Relay Invitational. All events were relay events, so without individual events the team felt significantly less pressure and enjoyed the opportunity to have fun in their last whole-team meet. Out of 11 teams present, the Bears took fifth place with their girls' team score, boys' team score and combined team score.
While the day was fun for all, there were still some very impressive swims by the Bears. The boys' A-team in the 400-freestyle relay (Austin Daniel, Ethan Nalwasky, Jake Todd, Matt Hogan) beat their season-best time by three seconds to improve their seed-time going into the state meet next week. The four boys, with their impressive splits, solidified their place to compete in that event on Friday at Georgia Tech.
Another impressive swim was by the girls' team in the same event. The A-team (Angela Ho, Ashley Dale Henslee, Katie Durden, Sydney Swenton) had solid swims by all, but Durden and Swenton in particular stood out. Durden swam a season-best split of 1:00.84 and will be the anchor to this relay on Friday at Georgia Tech. Swenton, previously an alternate for the relay, took the place of Lauren Holliday, who is suffering from a shoulder injury. Swenton stepped up and swam an impressive 1:02.62, a best-time split for the season. The same four girls will compete for the Bears in the 200-freestyle relay. The four girls will train next week to recover from the days off due to snow to get ready for state. Joining them will be Emma Gustafsson as an alternate in both events.
The Bears have had a decorated season. There was not a single person on the team that didn't experience growth and improvement. Nothing reflects the growth of this team more than the school records. As of this past weekend, only three school records from last year remain. With each year, the program and team is getting stronger and that is a reflection of every member of the team. School records and state cuts are not made simply by those that swam the event. The victory is shared by all members of the team who stood at the end of the lane and cheered on their teammates and those that motivated and encouraged their teammates in practice to train harder and swim faster. The team will share in the success of those moving on to Georgia Tech next weekend.
Girls' 200-Medley Relay (Seeded 23rd out of 53 entries)
Girls' 200-Freestyle Relay (Seeded 37th out of 57)
Girls' 400-Freestyle Relay (Seeded 31st out of 41)
Girls' 100-Breaststroke – Maggie McGinty (Seeded 21st)
Boys' 200-Freestyle Relay (Seeded 55th out of 64)
Boys' 400-Freestyle Relay (Seeded 27th out of 46)
Boys' 500-Freestyle – Jake Todd (Seeded 28th), Ethan Nalwasky (Seeded 39th), Austin Daniel (Seeded 46th)
Boys' 100-Backstroke – Jake Todd (Seeded 41st), Erek Humm (Seeded 48th), Austin Daniel (Seeded 52nd)