of the Sentinel Konah
Last month. several elite Spartan swimmers traveled to Washington state to compete in one of the most prestigious swim competitions in the region, and broke some of their records along the way.
The Washington Open swim meet, held in Federal Way, Wash., is the highlight of many high school swimmer’s careers. Making the cut is no easy accomplishment. Swimmers must qualify to attend, and the times to beat are tough.
For the Spartans, Freshmen Bremer Deaton and Sophia Fero broke some of their club swim records. They not only swim for the Spartans, but also for myst, the Missoula YMCA club swim team.
Junior Caroline McCormick swam the mile on the last day of competition and dropped over 20 seconds for her senior’s cut. She also broke the team record in the 200 Breaststroke and the 200 IM.
Throughout the meet, swimmers race their hardest to drop time, beat team records, and go for higher competition cuts. With Federal Way being at sea level, swimmers from high altitude states like Montana drop time like crazy.
King County Aquatic Center is a superior facility for swimmers. The facility has three pools for competition; to split the meet in half they had an even-heat pool, an odd-heat pool, and a dive tank which served as a warm up/cool down pool.
This swim meet is one of the biggest swim meets any Montana high school swimmer will get the chance to compete in. Being in a different state and in such an alive environment is a great experience for any swimmer.
McCormick, a seasoned swimmer sheds a little light to why this meet is so crucial to club swimming, “It’s a big meet. It gets people prepared for the championship season and the way championship meets run.”
With a limit of 900 swimmers this year, the competition to acquire a spot in the meet was high. About 100 teams came to Washington to put their hard work to the test. Only about 40 percent of the teams have swimmers that make it to finals and score for their team.
The Missoula YMCA team got on the board this year with Hellgate Junior Claire Becker scoring two points in her 500 Freestyle.
This is an important swim meet because it allows the smaller cities and teams to experience a swim meet in a place where their town really cares about swimming.
It gives swimmers an opportunity to glimpse a life they could lead if they continue to swim after high school and the environment they will be in.
It also gives them another chance at any cuts or personal goals they are trying to meet.
First time Washington Open goer this year, Sentinel JuniorGabe Mazur said, “I learned that sometimes when you think you’re going all out, there is actually a lot more that you can give.”