AV Girls Swim Team Makes a Splash at State
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Senior Vivien Duong, sophomore Anika Gram, and freshmen Claudia Dougan and Nora Bengtson all swam at state for the first time on November 16. Throughout the year, these swimmers put in hours of hard work in the pool every day to ultimately compete against the state’s best high school teams at the University of Minnesota.
This year at sections, these four swimmers qualified in two relays to advance to the state meet. In a competitive conference, making sections is a big deal, and making it to state is an even bigger deal.
Although the relay didn’t quite make it to finals on Thursday, coach Scott Pearson says they did a great job anyway.
“I was very happy with what I saw,” Pearson said, “especially seeing three of the swimmers drop time on their split time in the medley.”
The 200-yard medley relay is the first event in the whole meet. In this event, each swimmer swims a different stroke for 50 yards. The order goes backstroke, breastroke, butterfly, then freestyle.
In the medley relay, Bengtson broke her personal best time with a 28.99 seconds swimming backstroke, and Dougan got a personal best with 32 seconds flat. Duong also made a personal best with a 26.45 in her freestyle. Anika didn’t break her best time in her freestyle, but Pearson said that he saw her really fight, and she had a 25.43 to show for it.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, all four girls swam 50 yards of freestyle sprinting. Duong led with a 25.17, Gram followed with a 25.09, Bengtson swam a 25.34 next, and Dougan anchored the relay with a 24.73.
For Duong, this was the last meet she swam on the high school team, and it couldn’t have been a better way to end the last season. The other ladies, all underclassmen, have a few more years to swim.
“With three underclassmen, we’ve got a lot of potential for next year,” said Pearson. “Claudia definitely has a shot next year in the 100 freestyle with her best time of 53.55, and Nora is just six seconds away from a state time in her 500-yard freestyle.”
“I think we swam very well,” said Gram.“It was a great experience for all four of us!”
“A highlight of the season for me was seeing everyone drop time and improve” said Duong. “That shows that all the work we put in did pay off.”
Their experience at state was a great way to end the season. It has been two years since the Apple Valley girls made it to the state meet, but with how things went this year, and with all of the promising swimmers they’ve got, it certainly looks like they could make a some waves next year as well.