After a spectacular performance at sections last week, five members of the AVHS Girls Swim and Dive team are in the midst of the biggest meet of the season: State.
Pressure was high as the eagles fought to secure state spots in both individual and relay events. To secure a spot, you must place first or second in your event or achieve the state qualifying time in your event during section finals.
The first to qualify was the eagles 200 Medley Relay team, consisting of Nora Bengtson (11), Alix O’Brien (10), Anika Gram (12) and Gwyn Schultz (9). The team swam a season best time of 1:49.31, earning them second place in this event and automatically qualifying them for state.
Sophomore Alix O’Brien was next to qualify for two individual events: the 200 IM and the 500 Freestyle.
O’Brien finished fifth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:09.52, improving her time from prelims by 3 seconds and beating the state qualifying time by over a second.
O’Brien’s next state qualifying time came from her 500 freestyle. She finished in third place with a time of 5:10.71. She beat the state qualifying time by over 2 seconds and achieved personal best time in this event.
But the 200 Freestyle relay victory, was perhaps the most exciting for the eagles. The team was made up of Anika Gram (12), Nora Bengtson (11), Alix O’Brien (10) and Gwyn Schultz (9). The eagles went an impressive time of 1:39.79, out touching the Eagan Wildcats by .02 seconds, which secured the first place spot.
“It was such an amazing race to watch! You could tell that everyone on the team was motivated to win,” said sophomore team member Kali Winters.
Diver Macy Gilmore (12) is the final athlete the eagles are sending to the state meet. She finished sections in third place, scoring 343.25 points and earning herself a season best score in an 11-dive meet.
Gilmore said that sections is an extremely fun meet to participate in because she gets to dive with her friends, as well as from other schools within our conference.
Now the state meet is upon them.
Macy Gilmore in training for the state meet said, “Going to practice everyday and focusing on the little things I can control will make my dives better.”
Leading up to the state competition, the swimmers and divers are making sure that they listen to corrections given to them by their coaches and working hard to try and improve their technique in hopes of qualifying for finals.
The eagles are currently competing in the state competition at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.