Girls Swim and Dive league champs, prepare for state

Sophia Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

To end Manhattan High’s last full week of school, the girls swim and dive team is taking the nontraditional approach. Rather than spending their time preparing for graduation parties, the team is readying themselves for their very last meet of the season — state.

Set for this Thursday and Friday, both the swimmers and the divers are using each practice to prepare both their minds and their bodies for the last lap to this year’s season after becoming the Centennial League champions last Thursday and Friday.

Unlike previous years, the team went into League with the expectations that they wouldn’t win. According to coach Alex Brown, the team was set to fall 70 points behind their biggest rival, Washburn Rural.

“Almost every single kid dropped time in every single race,” Brown said. “It’s always what we want is for everyone to have their best time.”

Each practice session not only allows for the team to improve on their speed but it also allows them to rest before competition day arrives. This helps them avoid injury and overexertion, helping them to swim to their fullest extent when they compete.

“We’ve been tapering our sets to make them less strenuous and working on our strokes, dives and turns,” junior Elly Hensley said. “Since this is my first time swimming [at state], I have no idea what to expect.”

With the same method of practice contributing to their success at League, the team is hoping that their victory carries over into this week.

“A lot of kids swam their best ever times they’ve ever done, whether it’s in high school or in their year-round team,” Brown said. “They’re beating their best times so we’d like to see that continue into state this weekend.”

Despite low morale after injury throughout the normal season, the team has been doing the most to stay upbeat for their final competition weekend. With their motives both for their teammates and themselves, the team is more than ready to take home a win.

“We did great at League and stayed motivated to win throughout the whole meet,” Hensley said. “I think the motivation and support/encouragement will continue into state too, maybe even more so since it’s so big.”

The girls will be spending the rest of the week preparing themselves for state, which they hope to succeed at as well.