Girls, boys swim teams break records at two January meets

Senior Eli Dresbach swims the 100 meter butterfly at the Columbus Academy meet Jan. 7. (Photo by Mead Gibson)

The girls and boys swim teams competed in a tri-meet at Columbus Academy Jan. 7, finishing first and second respectively. At the Mt. Gilead meet Jan. 15, the boys finished 20th and girls 25th out of 40 schools.

At the Columbus Academy meet, freshman Millie Evans broke the 100 meter butterfly school record with a time of 58.94 seconds. The following week, she broke her own personal record for the same event in 55.49 seconds.

“I was nervous because this was my first high school meet,” Evans said. “But butterfly is my strongest stroke, so it came pretty natural to me.”

Evans added that at the Jan. 15 meet, the 200 meter medley relay and 400 meter freestyle relay school records were broken with times of 1:53.55 and 3:45.01 respectively. Both teams consist of Evans, freshman Owynn LaFollette and sophomores Anja Hoy and Annabel Long.

At the Mt. Gilead meet, Junior Nicholas Minkin beat both a school and personal record swimming the 100 meter backstroke in 53.25 seconds.

“This year, while COVID-19 has not given me many chances to compete, I have been able to take advantage of key races to improve my times and help me to break more school and personal records,” Minkin said.

Hoy added that COVID-19 is helping her reach her goals of competing at states and winning meets in the tournament because she has more opportunities to break records due to fewer competitors. This season, Hoy broke the school record for the 100 meter backstroke in 59.74 seconds, which she said she considers both a personal and team success.

“Everyone is so supportive of each other, so it makes me want to work even harder to help the team win,” Hoy said. “Winning the meet is always the goal, but it takes a lot of people working together to get there.”

This season, LaFollette said that she has gotten more experience in the pool than other years because COVID-19 had prevented opportunities.

“My personal goals this season are to get a new personal best in the 500 and 200 freestyle and to help my relay team make it to states,” LaFollette explained.

She said that the teams’ chemistry had been vital to their successes.

“Coach Sliwowski has coached a lot of us for several years, so we have gotten to know her really well.” Evans said.

She added that practices are more competitive because of the coaching environment.

“The coaches are very supportive, and I don’t think the atmosphere is different from other sports because everyone is there to have fun and work hard,” Evans said.

Minkin said developing new personal goals for the season enabled him to connect with the team and focus on his technique.

“One of the main benefits is that not only are you able to be proud of yourself, but you also contribute to the value of the team as a whole and help your friends win the race,” he said.

Another one of his goals is to break one more school record, which he hopes could be in either the 200 IM or the 100 meter freestyle, Minkin added.

“Something that makes our team special is that whether someone wins their heat, has a best time or breaks a school record, everyone is so supportive and benefits from their teammate’s success,”