Trust the process. This is what we tell our swimmers over and over throughout the season. Our athletes put in the work and believe in the system but even so there can be disappointing moments at the end. This was last year’s story for our relays. We worked hard, we dropped time, but it just wasn’t quite enough as we finished with the 27th fastest time in the state missing advancing by a mere 3 places in each of our two top relays. So we came back with fire and just as much (or even more) trust in the process and it appears to have paid off!
Our District qualifiers competed at Miami University Friday evening. From the moment they hit the water they were on fire. In our 200 Medley Relay every swimmers (Amy Fulmer, Sarah Starkey, Abby Kite, and Shelby Starkey) earned personal best splits to drop ANOTHER 2 seconds off their time finishing in a 1:52.18!! The team reached the podium with their 5th place finish, set a new school record, and currently appear to have a state qualifying time (official qualifiers are to be released Sunday). To emphasize how amazing this time truly is this same group of swimmers were steady around 1:58 throughout the season, dropped 4 seconds to go 1:54 at CBC, and stayed steady at Sectional. The record they are breaking was previously set at 1:54.68 shattering it now by 2.5 seconds! This effort took trust and continuous hard work. I am so proud of this team for rising to the challenge!
In addition the same girls pulled together a strong 200 Free Relay race finishing with 1:42.57 dropping 3.8 seconds from last week and reaching the podium in 6th place. This time will be very close but also appears to have snuck out to the State level as well.
Amy Fulmer continued to show her strength throughout the meet as well. Many athletes crumble under the pressure to continue to improve when they have achieved as much as Amy but I am proud to report that she chooses to instead rise to the occasion. Amy swam her lifetime best in the 100 free finishing in a very close 2nd place with a time of 50.09. Her 2nd place finish earns her an automatic advancement to the state meet. She didn’t stop there. In her second individual event, 100 back, she again became the District Runner Up, earning her way to State, and finishing in the second best time of her career with a 55.22. She has more goals in mind heading into her final high school state meet and I am both proud and excited. She has earned each moment through her continuous efforts and desire to improve.
Continuing to have outstanding improvements our swimmers saw personal best times in almost all of our other races.
Abby Kite moved from the 32nd qualifier to a 19th place finish in 50 free with a new personal best time of 25.97. She also finished 22nd in 100 Fly.
Shelby Starkey swam to a 19th place finish in 100 Fly and finished with a season best in 100 Backstroke in 13th place. In addition, Shelby anchored both of our potentially state qualifying relays in personal best split times.
Sarah Starkey took on two distance events finishing 15th in 200 Free with a new personal best time of 2:03.98 and 12th in 500 Free with a new best of 5:36.87. Only a sophomore Sarah showed great strength managing to be the top half of the district in both individuals.
Our final event of the night saw four personal best split times for Sarah Fulmer, Maddie Dailey, Samantha Starkey, and Chloe Reynolds as they finished 22nd. Freshman Sarah Fulmer reached a milestone as she broke a minute with her 100 time (lead off swimmer) swimming a 59.08 lighting a new fire for next season.
It was a thrilling night to be a part of the Chieftain swim family. We are all proud of these athletes for their efforts and excited for those moving on to the next level.
Official State Qualifiers will be announced by Sunday. The state meet occurs Thursday 2/21 (prelims) and Friday 2/22 (finals) in Canton.
Full Results: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wmWDpaKQXKpDHMiilS3SVP3RqOXCaSkg