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Swim team gains state qualifiers at 5A regional meet

The+swim+teams+gathers+together+for+one+last+group+picture.+Although+the+season+is+over+for+most+of+the+teams%2C+five+swimmers+will+be+moving+on+to+the+state+meet+Feb.+14-16+at+George+Mason.
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Swim team gains state qualifiers at 5A regional meet

The swim teams gathers together for one last group picture. Although the season is over for most of the teams, five swimmers will be moving on to the state meet Feb. 14-16 at George Mason.

The swim teams gathers together for one last group picture. Although the season is over for most of the teams, five swimmers will be moving on to the state meet Feb. 14-16 at George Mason.

Photo courtesy of Carmen Moreno

The swim teams gathers together for one last group picture. Although the season is over for most of the teams, five swimmers will be moving on to the state meet Feb. 14-16 at George Mason.

Photo courtesy of Carmen Moreno

Photo courtesy of Carmen Moreno

The swim teams gathers together for one last group picture. Although the season is over for most of the teams, five swimmers will be moving on to the state meet Feb. 14-16 at George Mason.

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Every person at the pool was screaming and cheering for their team as the last leg of the 200 medley relay dove in. The race for the state qualifying spot of fourth place was between Freshman Maddie McCay and Mountain View High School’s freshman Macy O’Reilly. They touched the wall and the results were in: the Harrisonburg High School 200 Medley “A” relay had made it to states by a second and seven hundredths.

The girls 200 medley relay was only the second event in the schedule, spurring a state qualifying streak for the Streaks. Shortly after the relay, during the sixth event of the day, McCay qualified for 5A states in the 200 IM (Individual Medley), breaking her own personal record.

“I was very, very surprised because I felt terrible today, and I was not expecting to make it at all, but I was super happy because everyone else swam super fast,” McCay said.

After the excitement of another state qualifying event, three of the team’s best sprinters were set to compete in the 50 freestyle. Sophomore Mia Constantin, senior Samantha Little and junior Lily Gusler lined up for the start. All scored personal records on their individual 50’s and Gusler garnered a sixth place, narrowly missing qualifying states by five hundredths of a second. Eight events later, Gusler also swam the 500 freestyle, gaining her second sixth place of the meet.

“You know, part of me is mad because it’s like, ‘Oh if I had gone a little bit faster, if I had pushed myself more I easily could’ve made it,’ but part of me isn’t mad because I get to go to states and swim the relays only and just have fun with that [without having] to worry about anything else,” Gusler said.

After the 500 freestyle, Gusler had one event to rest before she had to represent the Streaks in her second relay, the 200 freestyle relay. In this event the Streaks were seeded at a comfortable fourth place, although that did not show during the race. The team was compiled of Constantin, Gusler, Little and McCay. This relay won by a second to qualify for states, a first for Little.

“I think it first started out with the 50 free I swam individually. I cut a lot of time, which is really exciting, and I got kind of emotional right there at the end. I think that [the 50 free] set up the energy for the 200 freestyle relay, that if we all put our best foot forward we could really go to states,” Little said. “Everyone [on the relay] had really good swims, the last leg with Maddie and the other girl was really close, I think. It was really exciting to watch that finish the way it did.”

The day ended with Constantin swimming the 100 breaststroke, and although she was seeded the make states, there was no guarantee. The whole team watched as she touched the wall, nobody certain if she had qualified. The clock showed that she had beaten Massaponax High School’s Allison Matterson by a matter of 11 hundredths of a second, qualifying her to states with her first individual event.

 

Other stand out performances of the day were Sophomore Lizzy Wyatt dropping time in all of her events, Little’s 56.97 in the 100 freestyle and junior Olivia Arndt’s 29.9 on the first leg of the 200 medley relay. The girls team placed fourth overall.

The guys team had significant swims along with the girls team, including the guys 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay placing sixth overall. Senior William Daniel earned a 16th place in the 50 freestyle and a 17th place in the 100 butterfly. Senior Kyle Brown also had solid performances garnering a ninth place in the 100 freestyle and a seventh place in the 100 backstroke. Overall the guys team places seventh.

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