Boys’ swimming competes at sections

Park qualifies for state in seven events


Abby Prestholdt

Senior captain Hayden Zheng practices his butterfly stroke March 10. Boys’ swimming placed third at its Sections meet March 13.

Kate Schneider

After winning its conference earlier this season, boys’ swimming went on to place third in Sections March 13 and sent multiple swimmers to State.

Senior captain Ben St. Clair said his favorite part of sections was supporting his teammates and dropping time along with everyone else. 

“It was great. Just getting to cheer everyone on because at sections the energy is different because you never know how much time people are going to drop. So I really liked watching all my teammates swim and seeing everyone go personal bests,” St. Clair said.

According to assistant coach Joe Yaeger, COVID-19 changed the pace of the season, but the team adapted to it and ended the season on a high note at sections.

“With this year being so different, and it went really fast, meaning the boys didn’t have a lot of breaks and it was just go, go, go.  The boys were able to change their mentality and swim very well,” Yaeger said.

Senior captain Connor Coleman said sections felt different due to COVID-19, but he thought the meet went very well.

“Sections was awesome this year. It was a lot different without the fans in the stands and being closer to your team,” Coleman said.

According to St. Clair, the lack of fans was most noticeable during the relays, but challenged the swimmers to keep the energy up themselves.

“It was different because there wasn’t anyone in the stands. And usually, during the relays, all the fans get really hyped up. Since there was no one in the crowd, you had to find that motivation from yourself,” St. Clair said. “You had to be more self-motivated and count on your teammates to cheer you on.”

According to Coleman, he enjoyed seeing his teammates’ hard work pay off at sections.

“I loved seeing the improvement from each of the boys and seeing so many people qualify for state,” Coleman said.

St. Clair said making it to State during his final year on the team is a big accomplishment and he is looking forward to competing.

“As a senior, it’s really fulfilling because it’s my last season. Also, I think everyone’s just grateful that we get to have State this year with COVID(-19) so I’m just really excited,” St. Clair said.

According to Yaeger, everyone on the state team earned their spot and he is excited to see how the team ends its season at the meet.

“I’m excited about all the seniors and upperclassmen swimming at state because they’ve worked really hard throughout their entire high school career. I hope they take it in this one last time and understand how good they are and that they deserve it all,” Yaeger said. “And I hope they have a good time and drop some time and earn the respect that they deserve.”