Three jewels but no crown this year - Once again the Triple Crown has come to an end, after Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes last Saturday. As in past years, there was no Triple Crown winner in 2013.... More →
Contrary to most sports, the district championship swim meet, rather than the state championship swim meet, is more nerve-racking for most swimmers. According to sophomore Kaitlin Benjamin, there is more pressure on the athletes at the district meet to qualify for states than at the actual state championship meet.
“I was really nervous about districts, but now that I made states, it’s a huge stress reliever,” Benjamin said. “States is known for being the fun meet; it sounds intense, but it’s really not that intense.”
Benjamin, along with four of her teammates, qualified in both relays and individual events for the 2012 Pennsylvania State championship swim meet at Bucknell University on March 14-15. The team placed fourth at the District meet and two relay teams broke school records. The 200 freestyle relay team of junior Allison Kirkby, freshman Amber Zimmerman, sophomore Grace Wydeven and sophomore Abby Mack and the 400 freestyle relay team of Benjamin, Zimmerman, Wydeven and Mack each broke the respective school records.
Girls’ swim team coach Rob Kirkby said that he was thrilled with the team’s performance at the district meet and was looking forward to success at the State Championship meet as well.
“I am just happy to get to states,” Kirkby said. “Both relays are seeded in the top eight and it is very exciting and would be a great accomplishment to swim in the finals.”
The girls met Kirkby’s expectations and more. The 400 freestyle relay placed 11th in finals and Benjamin placed 13th overall in the 500 yard freestyle event and 15th in the 200 yard freestyle, Mack placed 11th in the 100 yard butterfly and the 200 freestyle relay placed 8th.
Nic Graesser prepares to compete at the swimming state championship. Courtesy Michael Schon.
The boys’ swim team also placed fourth at the district meet, and they also sent five athletes to the state meet, including senior Nic Graesser, junior Brian Jay, sophomore Alex Schon, sophomore Michael Ashmead and freshman Waylon Jin. At the district meet, Graesser broke his own school record in the 100 backstroke.
Jin, who is swam the 200 individual medley at states, said that he was excited and felt fortunate to be a member of such an elite squad heading to the state meet, especially as a freshman.
“I feel really honored to be going to states with some [students from] other grades, besides freshmen,” Jin said.
The boys’ team also finished well at the state meet. The 200 medley relay finished in sixth place, Graesser finished seventh in the 200 yard freestyle and second in the 100 yard backstroke while the 400 freestyle relay finished in tenth place.
Benjamin said that overall the team was pleased with the way they finished the season.
“We sent a lot of girls and boys to states and we have a lot of underclassmen that will be able to represent us for the next couple of years,” Benjamin said. “We have high hopes for the future, and we will probably place really well at districts and states the next few years. States this year was really fun and it was a huge team bonding experience.”
Abby Pioch can be reached at email@example.com.