On Monday, February 21, the Hyde Varsity Swim Team travelled to the University of Maine in Orono to compete against 25 other teams in the States Championship. Four qualified swimmers, Alex Armstead (’11), James Frazier (’11), Jon Lee (’12), and Kevin Ou (’11) competed while the rest of the team enthusiastically provided support as spectators.
It was a phenomenal showing for all of our swimmers. Out of nine events swum in the morning preliminary session, all nine were improved times from earlier in the season, and six of them qualified the swimmers to return for the evening finals session. Having all times improved is impressive enough, but when you add how significant the time drops were, you have an extraordinary result. By the evening session, in spite of the exhaustion experienced by us all as the very long day continued, times continued to improve and our competitive nature was back in full force.
For our two relays, each of which consisted of all four swimmers, our ability to function cohesively as a team unit was evident like never before. In the 200 Medley Relay, in which each athlete swims a different stroke, the team dropped almost 5 seconds for a time of 1:59.13, placing us in 12th. The 400 Freestyle Relay, which has been our stand-out event since the beginning of the season, dropped a whopping 9 seconds to come in 10th place with a time of 3:54.45.
Alex Armstead was undoubtedly the stand-out of the meet. After attaining his 50 Freestyle personal record of 25.68, he knocked it out of the park with his 100 Butterfly, bettering his time by OVER 8 SECONDS over the course of his two swims that day, a time drop that is practically unheard of at a Championship level! His time, improved from 1:11.96 to 1:03.89, snagged him 13th place in the event.
James Frazier had a couple of solid individual swims as well, bettering his 50 Free time to 25.40 and his 100 Free by a second to 57.30, placing in 15th and 17th respectively.
Jon Lee also swam the 100 Fly as an individual event. His time improvement of over a second to 1:11.64 was not enough to qualify him for finals in the evening, but is definitely admirable.
Last but certainly not least, Kevin Ou had a couple outstanding individual swims. His first and most notable event was the 200 Individual Medley. He dropped almost 6 seconds over the course of the day, finishing at 9th place with a time of 2:19.39. He also bettered his 100 Free time to 55.04, placing 13th in the event.
At the end of the day, our team was as exhausted as they were proud to have beaten 10 out of 26 teams competing at States that day, coming in 16th overall. To have accomplished that with only four competitors is remarkable.
We are proud to be the coaches of such an outstanding group of swimmers and are pretty bummed that the season is over, but we want to thank everyone involved for a fantastic season! Please congratulate our Championship swimmers if you see them!
Coach Mercer and Coach Bullock