content by SYDNEY CLIFFORD - The Westfield Girls Swim Team clocks in some outstanding performances at the IHSAA swim sectional this past weekend.
CARMEL, Ind. (Feb. 6, 2019) - Many sounds echoed throughout Carmel High School’s natatorium this past Friday and Saturday: cheers from supporting parents, chants from students in the stands, support from teammates and coaches. But the loudest thing at the IHSAA Girls’ Swim and Dive Sectionals was the smiles that radiated off of the faces of Westfield swimmers.
After subzero temperatures caused the Sectional Preliminary races to move from Thursday to Friday, the Westfield girls did not let the change in schedule affect their performances. Every Westfield girl made it out of the preliminary races, guaranteeing them spots for the Saturday Finals, in either a consolation heat or a final heat. Final heats included the top eight finishes from Friday nights, where state cut times were most likely. Consolation heats would be before this and have the ninth to sixteenth finishes from Friday.
Throughout the day on Saturday, Westfield girls continued to compete with the same energy they brought the day before. For almost every event, Westfield had an athlete on the podium during awards. Freshman Hannah Jones (9) was on the podium for her eighth place in the 100 fly and third place in the 200 medley relay. She did not let her age determine how she performed.
“[Competing] felt really good,” Jones said. “I was really nervous, but overall I was just trying to beat my other times from earlier in the season.”
Jones was not the only underclassman with an outstanding performance. Olivia Kielty (9) placed eighth in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 100 breast. Elle Herzog (10) was also on the podium for the 100 breast with a seventh place performance. Freshman sensation Macy Hoaglan (9) was in the finals for each and every one of her events. She finished in fifth for her 200 freestyle, fifth in her 500 freestyle and third in the 200 free relay. She also was in the 400 free relay, which placed third and had a state cut time, with seniors Erin Verbrugge, Katie Hand and Kerry Effinger.
Another set of incredible accomplishments came through senior Katie Hand (12). For her 100 fly, she broke the school record by a one hundredth of a second. On top of this, she placed third and had a state cut in the 200 individual medley, guaranteeing her a spot at next Saturday’s State Championships. After she hit the timing pad and looked up at the timing board, Hand could not help but smile.
“It was so crazy,” Hand said. “I wasn’t even expecting it. I just wanted to get out there and do the best I could. Just seeing third place and not even knowing I could ever go that fast was just an amazing feeling, especially with my whole team there.”
Other senior performances came from Kerry Effinger (12) and Lily Hunter (12), who placed sixth and seventh in the 50 freestyle, respectively. Erin Verbrugge (12) also placed fourth in 100 backstroke and made the state cut time by one hundredth of a second.
After three state cut times at the sectional meet, results from other sectionals around the state will determine who else will be competing at the state finals on Feb. 8-9. For now though, the girls who made the cut times, like Katie Hand, are already preparing for the excitement.
“I’m just going to have a lot of fun,” Hand said. “At this point, I just want to see how fast I can possibly go and have fun doing it. Whatever happens.”
Click left and right to see more from sectionals!