The McNicholas Swim Team made a splash in the final meets of the season, with four swimmers qualifying for the district meet and one going on to state finals.
The sectional meet, which every swimmer attended, was on Feb. 10 and 11 at Mason High School. Many swimmers swam their best times at the meet. Junior Natalie Martinez placed 6th overall in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.20. She then went on to place 5th overall in the 100 freestyle with a time of 57.94. She advanced to the district meet the next week, where she swam a 25.95 in the 50 free and a 57.13 in the 100 free, a better time than she had the week before.
Freshman Grace Rosenbaum placed 9th overall in the 50 free with a time of 27.06, and swam a best time of 1:15.23 in the 100 breaststroke – a 4.20 second drop from her former time. Rosenbaum also advanced to the district meet where she swam the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Her time for 50 free was 26.96, and her 100 breast time was 1:13.00, both her best times for the season. “My experience at districts as a freshman was really fun. It was very crowded and lasted forever, but it was a good time,” Rosenbaum said. She has some high expectations for the coming years, as she wishes to break the school record in the 100 breaststroke and make it to the state meet in both of the events.
Sophomore Emily Potter swam a 38.92 in 50 free, and dropped time in the 100 free – from 1:52.67 to 1:51.68. Sophomore Ellie White did not swim any individual events because of a sprained thumb, but she helped the team in the relays.
Senior Emma Hughes dropped 1.01 seconds in the 100 free to a time of 1:10.64. She then dropped 1.55 seconds in the 100 back for a best time of 1:23.65. Senior Lauren Riede dropped 1.31 seconds in the 50 free for a best time of 35.58. She also competed in the 100 free, finishing the time of 1:22.80.
Freshman Phillip Miller swam a 2:05.17 in the 200 meter freestyle, then swam a 5:34.10 in the 500 free – a 4.27 second drop from his former time. Miller advanced to the district meet in the 500 freestyle, where he dropped 9 seconds off his time. “It felt great. I was really proud of myself that I made it that far. My goals for the next seasons are to break 5 minutes in the 500 freestyle by next year and make it to state in that event for the next 3 years, and maybe make state for the 200 IM. I would also like to break the school record in the boy’s 500 free,” Miller said.
Sophomore AJ Gregory swam a 27.68 in the 50 free, but declared a false start in the 100 free because he had hurt his back and did not want to injure it further. Sophomore Nick Russo swam a 31.78 in the 50 free, then a 1:28.68 in the 100 backstroke.
Junior Nick Rosenbaum placed second overall in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.74, assuring him a place in the district meet. He then out-swam all of the other swimmers with a time of 53.82 in the 100 butterfly, earning him the first place spot and breaking the school record. At the district meet, he swam a 52.88, re-breaking the record that he had set the week before, and earning him a spot in the state finals. Rosenbaum swam a 53.45 at state, which was his third best time ever.
“The state meet was unlike any other swim meet I’ve ever been to. It is a big pool, but the seating is limited to around 2000 people, which sounds like a lot, but it is packed and it gets loud, and it just gets everyone there so excited. Plus, everyone at state is going around the same time for every race, so each finish is so close, it just adds to the crazy atmosphere,” Rosenbaum said. “Outside the pool, we visited President William McKinley’s library and museum. We also visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The whole city, the whole atmosphere, the satisfaction of finally making it after failing last year, and two whole years of work made it one of the greatest experiences thus far,” Rosenbaum added. “My goals are to set some more school records, make the fast heat at state, and make senior year a great one, both for myself and my teammates.”
The swim team is losing two seniors for the next season, but the underclassmen and rising seniors are hoping to carry the team to break more school records.