Swim and Dive Teams Successful at PAL Finals

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Last Saturday, both the junior varsity (JV) and varsity swim and dive teams competed in the PAL finals against seven other schools. The Bears dominated the meet, with JV boys taking first, both JV and varsity girls taking second, and varsity boys taking fourth.

Bears lead the butterfly heat.

The JV boys occupied themselves barbequing hotdogs and burgers next to the energy-filled pool. On the JV team’s attitude, coach Bruce Smith said, “It was like waking up a sleeping giant. The barbeque epitomizes how they were proud to be on the team. The culmination of all that energy and all that excitement just flowed out on Saturday.” 

Sixteen swimmers and three divers will advance to CCS. For girls, freshman Hailey Preuss will swim the 200 Individual Medley (IM) and 500 Free, sophomore Natalie Scafetta will swim the 200 Free and 500 Free, and sophomore Heidi Chen will swim the 100 Free and 100 Back. Junior Landon Picard, the only individual qualifier among the boys, will swim the 50 Free and 100 Free. Three girl relays and two boy relays will also compete. Freshmen Ava and Zoe Jannink and sophomore Izzy Zohar will dive at CCS. 

Senior Drew Nelson, who qualified for the CCS relay, applauded Picard. “Landon is probably the best swimmer on the team. He generally scores a lot of points for our team, and we would not be as good without him,” said Nelson.

Smith explained how this year was a step up from last year, saying, “Last year we only had two people with individual events, and now we have four people with individual events. Our relays are seeded higher this year, and all three girl relays have a chance of making finals. It’s exciting—we actually have a real postseason.” 

Preuss looks forward to competing at CCS. She said, “I’m really excited because all my friends from other schools are going to be there. I’m kind of nervous because it’s a big meeting. There’s a lot of pressure because I have a shot at winning the top three.” 

Teammates cook barbeque for team

About her goals for the rest of the season, Preuss added, “I would like to get as many team records as I can and I’m trying to bring my best to every dual meet. For the following seasons, I’d like to focus on putting up good times, especially for college.” 

Smith has high aspirations for those advancing to CCS. He said, “I would love to see all our relays make finals, and if that happens we potentially could make the podium for a top five at CCS, which would be a huge step. We have Hailey and Landon who are both trying to get their state cuts, so we’re trying to get a few to advance the states. Our long-term goal is to win CCS in the next five years.”

With a solid core of young swimmers, the future looks bright for the Bears’ Swim and Dive teams.

Jolene is a senior at M-A and this is her second year in journalism. She looks forward to writing more opinion pieces about controversial topics this year. In her free time, she enjoys running track and listening to music.

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