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Reaching for a spot at state

On February 9, Shawano Community High School boy’s swim team went to UW- Stevens Point to compete at Sectionals. This event figures out which swimmers are moving on to State.

The boys competed against Rhinelander, Menomonie, Rice Lake, Wausau East, Medford, Lakeland Union, River Falls, Tomahawk and Antigo. Although, this was not the only event to take place for swim that day.

Coach Jeff Easter explained, “There are four geographical areas or sections in the state from which teams are gathered to compete for the chance to go to the State meet. Each section sends the first place winner in each event to State, and then the remaining relays or individuals that are fastest also go, which is the top sixteen in each event.”

Each swimmer has their own way of preparing themselves for the entire event through the week or even their individual events during the meet.

Photo Courtesy: Kristen Braatz

Junior Peter Fuller said, “To prepare for Sectionals, I make sure I focus in practice the week before. Then, the day of the event, I mentally go through the event. Before the event I am in, I listen to music to get me pumped up.”

The swimmers have different mindsets going into the season and even the meet. People who spectate on the side of the pool notice this before the boys do.

Junior Lauren Welander, who is a manager of the swim team, explained, “I think that some of the boys went into the season and into sectionals with a good mindset. I also think that others didn’t, as in they did not want to actually do the work they needed to for the team.”

During this meet, many of the swimmers on the team beat their personal bests that they had set during the season. It may have surprised a person or two.

Photo Courtesy: Kristen Braatz

“Two swimmers surprised me at Sectionals. Wylee Springborn has been battling a shoulder injury all season which has limited his time swimming at practice. This usually means that the swimmer loses some stamina and speed. Wylee swam his best times ever in all of his events at sectionals,” Coach Easter explained. “Also, Michael Dickmann managed to take 8th in the 100 backstroke and stand on the podium. He has been quietly improving all season, and it was great to see him do so well.

Even though none of the boys made it to State this year, everyone on the team had a good time at the event.

Welander said, “We went into it knowing the boys were going to try their hardest and go the extra mile, which they did, but didn’t quite make it to State. Although, I know that they tried their hardest at Sectionals and most of them reached their personal bests, which I am proud of them for.”

There is still next year to come for some of the boys on the team. Most of them already want to push until they make it to State.

Fuller’s advice to himself next year is: “Don’t stress out. Just focus on the swim and have fun.”