The boys swim team wins GAC championship with a score of 343

On Thursday, the boys swim team won its first GAC Conference Championship in school history. The team finished with a total of 343 points, beating the second place team, Francis Howell, by 10 points. With such a close score at the end of the meet, it was the 400-yard freestyle relay that determined victory.

“Near the end of the meet no one expected Howell to come out of no where and almost beat us,” senior Ryan Macy said. “It was the last relay of the meet and we knew we had to swim our best.”

Seniors Macy, Andrew Smith, and sophomores Zachary Rogers and Derek Mielke were the last relay team of the meet. According to Mielke, the swimmers realized the entire meet depended on their relay, so they swam through their nerves finishing the relay with a time of 3:22.28.

“It was a relief to find out that we had won,” Mielke said. “The entire team was on edge during that last relay and it felt good to prove ourselves after barely losing last year’s conference.”

This GAC championship ended the team’s most successful season in school history with a record of 16-1 in dual/tri-meets.

“We’ve been battling for this title for four years and I am proud that we are the first Howell school ever to accomplish that,” Smith said. “I’ve seen this team through its worst and now its best and I feel honored to be a part of this crazy experience and see our team transform.”

With a new championship title, the swim team looks forward to compete at state this Friday and Saturday. At state, swimmers can only swim in four individual events. Mielke, Smith, and Rogers qualified in more than four events allowing seniors Ryan Macy, Grant Koehler and sophomores Eric Macy and Jeffrey Connor to compete in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“Our 200-yard medley relay is ranked seventh in conference,” Ryan Macy said. “If we swim well and make sure no one tops us, we might have a shot at a medal.”

This week, the team continues to practice daily in order to prepare for state. Practices although daily, are now tapered, meaning the team swims shorter yards for a shorter amount of time allowing the swimmers to rest and store their energy.

“As long as no one gets hurt and we all stay focused I believe the team can make the top ten this year,” Rogers said. “Everyone who is qualified has been to state before and this year we are even faster and ready to show everyone what we can do.”