This past Saturday, December 3, the boys and girls swimming and diving team had the grand opportunity to compete at the annual Hall of Fame meet at Franklin Community High School. This is the first year the team has gotten invited to the meet, and the only way to be invited is by someone on the team placing in the top 16 at state the previous year. Last year the girls 200 medley, the 400 yard Freestyle relay, and sophomore Carmina Armstrong placed. This team put in all the effort and saw the results to earn the opportunity of a lifetime, to swim against some of the top teams in the state.
The day started with the boys and girls team standing, with their blankets, pillows, and swim bags, in the high school natatorium looking as exhausted as any teenager would be, at five in the morning. “I kept thinking it was going to be a long day, but I was excited to know what events I am going to swim.“ said junior Kate Weaver. Weaver was one of the first ones at the high school that morning anxious to get on the way to the meet. She swam the 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle, and the 50 freestyle, along with relays during the finals portion of the meet. Finally, after a sauna of a bus ride, a quick pitstop at a nearby McDonald’s, and multiple wrong turns, the team finally arrived at Franklin Community High School.
“The pool was really big, and there were so many teams there that it was kind of intimidating.” Sophomore Riley Sample discloses her first thoughts when entering the natatorium. Sample remembers saying throughout the meet that she was nervous for her event, and ended up swimming one of her best times in the 200 backstroke. Riley has fallen in love with the sport of swimming and the team that comes along with it. “We all become like a family and it makes the hard practices bearable.”With a team this close it is as if nothing can stand against them, but even nerves come into play at this big of a meet. After the anxiousness of prelims, every team was invited to lunch and to listen to the eight-time Olympic Medalist, Allison Schmitt. Schmitt has become an inspiration to many team members, from listening to her story and her accomplishments. “I honestly look up to any Olympic swimmer, for their positivity and enthusiasm, to keep me going through practices.” Kate Weaver shares how Schmitt inspires her, and even though the thought of Olympians inspires her to work harder, she does not necessarily see herself being an olympian in the future. Once finals began, Allison Schmitt walked around and did a few cheers with different teams. Soon enough, she made it over to the Jasper High School team. No one on the team intended on cheering whether it was because of nerves or something else, but Schmitt convinced them otherwise. After a quick lesson for Schmitt to catch on the Jasper High School Swimming and Diving team shouted the “Go Cats Go!” cheer and even made it onto Allison’s Instagram page.
After the fifteen hour meet, the team was finally ready to go home. Everyone was stuffed full of subway and ready for bed, except for 4 girls who decided it was their time to shine and sang every song they could think of on the way home. Senior Emma Hopf, juniors Kate Weaver and Rhegann Weisheit, and sophomore Carmina Armstrong sang hits from “If We Were A Movie” to “The Real Slim Shady”. Whether it was bonding time for those four or a growing hatred for everyone else, no one complained. The entire team knew each and everyone of them deserved some fun after the long enduring day they have had.