Freshman makes finals in state swimming meet

By Jillian Mullin

Warming up with her kickboard at the beginning of practice on Tuesday, April 30, freshman Sherry McLeod chats casually with some of her teammates. “The swim team my freshman year really has opened by eyes and makes me want to work harder so I can swim in college,” McLeod said. “I am so happy I could be on this team and I loved the support the team gave me.”

Cassi Benson, JAG Reporter

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At the first meet for the first swim team, freshman Sherry McLeod became the first swimmer to qualify for state, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke. McLeod also later qualified for the 500 freestyle.

“It felt really good [to qualify my first meet because] I did not think it was possible [since it was] my first meet and I had no idea where I was [time-wise],” McLeod said. “It was a pretty great experience.”

The team placed third at the Kaw Valley League meet, and, along with McLeod qualifying in two individual events, the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 free relay also qualified for state. McLeod made it to finals at state in the 100 backstroke and placed 15th on Saturday, May 18.

“There was a lot of adrenaline [at the state finals],” McLeod said. “[Adrenaline] gets your blood pumping and nerves working. It really made me ready to race.”

Junior Regan Jones felt impressed with how much the team accomplished.

“[I will always remember] how much we improved from the first meet to the last meet,” Jones said. “At the beginning of the season we got last almost every meet, then towards the end we started getting first and second.”

To junior Krista Riccitello-Brewer, effort meant more than placing.

“Swimming is not really about trying to get first place, it is just you trying to improve [your times],” Riccitello-Brewer said.

According to McLeod, the team encouraged each other by cheering loudly.

“We are all so supportive of one another,” McLeod said. “My teammates cheer so [loudly] that you can hear it through the water. They’re there to comfort me and it is really great.”

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