March 5, 2011
Filed under Sports
by Maddie Kipphut
Throughout the past month, the RHHS Swim Team competed in three separate meets that they had to qualify for in order to swim. Pressure was on, and the volume as turned up one people’s iPods, to get ready to race their best possible race. District was the first meet to go underway on January 27th. Districts was the beginning of making it to state, similar to playoffs in football and basketball. Heath placed third at overall at District, right behind Rockwall who placed second, with J.J. Pearce as the champions. Performances at District were top notch. First place winners included seniors: Madeline Kipphut (100 freestyle), Morgan Madrid (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke), and Jonathan Sherwin (50 and 100 freestyle).
The competition wasn’t very fierce, so people were not expecting what Regionals in Mansfield was going to entail which is why Sherwin was the only one from RHHS to make it to state down in Austin, Texas. “Our [RHHS] Regionals was really difficult because we are one of the faster regions, and with eight other regions, it’s really hard to make.” Coach, Tommy Sacco agreed, “Since the first place finisher in each even automatically makes state, it’s a waiting game after that. There are only eight other spots to fill with all of the other swimmers to slot into. It’s really difficult to make state with only 16 spots total.” Sherwin won the 50 freestyle and got second in the 100 freestyle. “I was really pumped to win the 50 since it’s my favorite event. I was happy to get a medal and stand on the first place podium.”
Other dreams were not fulfilled at Regionals. Kipphut, senior, was disappointed with her swims. “I really thought I was going to swim faster, but what happens, happens. I was looking forward to going down to Austin, but Texas swimming really jumped this year, especially up in Frisco which is in our division. All the girls up there went faster then everyone down in our region, so it was utterly impossible for other people to make it. It was really frustrating especially for my last high school meet ever.”
Madrid, senior, was excited for her last meet. “I can’t wait to close this chapter on my life and move on to college and better things!” Madrid swam the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, meddling in both.
Another disappointing feature at Regionals was all of the disqualifications called from the officials. With all of the disqualifications, it seemed like they had it out against Rockwall and Heath. They called things that caused a lot of controversy including, two hand touches on the wall, relay starts that were early, and finishes that were “soft touches” Garrett Crumply, senior, was “claimed” to have left early off of a relay start, but the reaction time was within the allowed reaction time, causing a thirty-minute controversy between Sacco and the officials. That was only one of the several disqualifications at the Regional meet.
When qualifications were announced, Sherwin was the only person to make the cut for State. He went down to Austin with Sacco and the Rockwall Team on February 18th and ended up placing 12th in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free. “I wasn’t happy with my 50 free time in finals, but I swam well on the first 50 in the 100, so overall I can be happy with my final meet of the season.”
None of the RHHS seniors are planning to swim in college, but many will keep swimming recreationally. The ,ajority of the swimmers are continuing the year by joining water polo. Spots are still open!