Swim Team Races at Region

Mackenzie+Miller+swims+breaststroke+at+Region+prelims.

Samantha Nordstrom

Mackenzie Miller swims breaststroke at Region prelims.

Samantha Nordstrom, Writer

After a successful District meet, Region qualifiers on the swim team competed at Regional prelims on Friday, Jan. 31 and finals on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Magnolia High School.

“It’s gratifying to watch all the swimmers swim at Region,” head swim coach Dale Villemez said. “For most of the swimmers, it’s their last meet. They work so hard all year and it’s nice to see that work pay off.”

In order to advance to State, swimmers must place within the top eight at Region. The top two swimmers in each event automatically advance to State. After that, the six fastest times in each event throughout the four regions are “called up” to swim at State. For relays, the process is the same.

“At Region, I swam some of my best times all season and beat my biggest rivals,” sophomore Cameron Harper said. “I finally did as well as I had been dreaming of all season.”

Although not all the relays advanced to State, most did place. The girls’ 200 individual medley relay, including senior Morgan Whitaker, juniors Samantha Nordstrom and Mackenzie Miller, and freshman Hildi Hutchinson placed fifth overall in the finals. Freshmen Dylan See, Nelson, Harper, and Cress placed fifth in the 400 yard freestyle relay.

“My first Region meet was very nerve-wracking but also exciting since my relay moved up a place,” Hutchinson said. “Next year, I hope I can make it to State.”

Many swimmers also placed in individual events. Swimmers who placed within the top eight at finals are shown in the chart.

“I was really surprised when I placed in the 100 fly, but I was glad I was able to get a ribbon,” Kennemer said. “But knowing that this was my last Region meet ever and knowing this was the last time I would ever swim with the team was sad.”

Four lady bears qualified for State this year. Senior Jolie Daspit placed first in the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle, repeating as Region champ for both events. Thanks to these accomplishments, Daspit won Athlete of the Meet. Sophomore Kaitlyn Weightman placed second in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Both girls will be advancing to State in their individual events. In the girls’ 200 yard freestyle relay, Daspit, Weightman, Haley Nelson and Kendall Wilson placed second in finals and will automatically advance to state. The girls’ 400 yard freestyle relay placed third in finals and was the first relay called up to swim at State.

“Finally knowing my relays were going to State was definitely a feeling of relief,” Wilson said. “For the past two years we’ve been able to go to State for relays, and we were all hoping we could pull through this third year too.”

The state qualifiers will travel to the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center in Austin, Texas on Thursday, Feb. 13, to compete in prelims on Friday, Feb. 14. On Saturday, Feb. 15, the swimmers will swim one last time during finals.

Event: Girls 200 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Kaitlyn Weightman 1.54.89 2nd
Kendall Wilson 1.58.61 7th

Event: Boys 200 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Dylan See 1.55.87 4th

Event: Girls 50 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Jolie Daspit 24.08 1st
Kendall Wilson 25.42 6th

Event: Girls 100 Yard Butterfly
Name: Time: Place:
Morgan Whitaker 1.00.35 7th

Event: Boys 100 Yard Butterfly
Name: Time: Place:
William Kennemer 56.63 7th

Event: Girls 100 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Jolie Daspit 51.41 1st
Haley Nelson 54.89 5th

Event: Boys 100 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Siaki Nelson 50.64 4th

Event: Girls 500 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Kaitlyn Weightman 5.13.04 2nd

Event: Boys 500 Yard Freestyle
Name: Time: Place:
Dylan See 5.01.61 6th