Swimming Towards State

Swim Athletes Participate in State Championship

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Tracks Yearbook

Facing forward, senior Isaac Luttrell swims the 100 breaststroke at the state swim meet. Luttrell finished 12th with a time of 59.68. “I was pretty excited to finish off my senior year with state,” Luttrell said. “It was a lot of fun and an amazing way to end my senior swimming.”

Kaiya Wilkinson, Reporter

Every morning, swimmers wake up early, go to a pool, and focus on black line underwater for two hours straight. However, it is this constant practice that helps them to achieve accomplishments even as high as making it to State. Senior Isaac Luttrell qualified for and competed at what will be the last state swim meet of his high school career on Feb. 26-27 

“I was pretty excited to finish off my year with state,”  Luttrell said. “It was a lot of fun and an amazing way to end my senior swimming.”

Luttrell has competed at state before and is one of the team’s fastest breaststrokers. At State, Luttrell swam the 100 breaststroke and got 12th place with a time of 59.68.

“I like to swim breaststroke,” Luttrell said. “I have always enjoyed the feeling of the stroke and how different it is from all the other strokes. The kick is a completely different orientation than the other three strokes and it requires a lot more coordination.”

Joining Luttrell at state for boys swimming was junior Thomas Wu. Wu qualified for state in both the 100 breaststroke and the 100 butterfly. With a final time of 56.29, Wu became the 5A 100 breaststroke champion and second in his 100 butterfly.

“During my race, I felt super nervous and excited at the opportunity to win a state title,” Wu said. “When I finished first, I just felt overwhelmingly happy and relieved as that had been my goal since last year.”

Sophomore Micki Koltz and senior Stella Shipps also qualified for the state meet and competed on Mar. 1-2. Shipps for the 100 butterfly placing 9th overall with a time of 57.90, and Koltz for the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke where she got 5th with a time of 2:07.14 and 6th with a time of 1:07.01 respectively.

“I remember feeling really excited that I made it to a final in both of my events,”  Koltz said. “As we[the finalists] walked out onto the pool deck, the whole pool was there ready to cheer us on and it made the whole experience really memorable.”

Training for swimming is no easy feat, according to Shipps, she trains for 1.5 to 2.5 hours a day, and Luttrell said that he has between eight to 10 practices a week. 

“I have been competitively swimming with a club for four and a half years now,” Luttrell said. “A typical practice has a warm up, a pre-set, and then a couple of] main sets, followed by a cool down. [Swimming competitively] gives me the opportunity to race others and meet people. ”

Swimmers weren’t the only ones who went to state, sophomore Pierce Brooke, a diver, also qualified for the championship meet. He ended up placing 4th overall. Previously placing 2nd in regionals and 1st in districts.

“I walked into regionals knowing who my competition would be, so I had a good feeling I would qualify for state,” Brooke said. “[At the state meet] I could have done better, I was so nervous and it caused me to mess up some of my dives. Being nervous makes thinking harder so I might focus on something else like how the dive would turn out rather than what I should do to make the dive good.”

Despite all of the ups and downs of state, according to the athletes, they all had a great time just being able to compete in a sport that they love.