Eastside High School girls in swimming take state title in record fashion

Jonathan D. Homework

Not only did the Eastside Women’s Swim Team win their fifth straight Class AAAA State Championship on Saturday at the North Charleston Aquatic Center; they did it in a record fashion.

The Eagles have won eight individual state championships en route to scoring 608 points, which is a state record at the AAAA class level and is also the third-highest total in state history in all. classifications.

“It’s always very exhilarating, super fun and fantastic (to win a state championship),” said Eastside coach Tiffany Watson. “He doesn’t get old because it’s a different group of girls every time. They worked very hard all year. It’s fun to see them get a reward for it.

The Eagles have won eight of 11 events and also claimed three individual state records in the process. Hayden Penny set a record in the 500 freestyle, Lilla Bogner set the record in the 100 backstroke and the Eagles 200 freestyle relay team won the event setting records.

Watson felt her team had a chance to have a special day on Saturday if they were swimming well.

“Absolutely; we worked really hard to balance our points,” Watson said. “We wanted to spread our points. We study the data and the times and follow the athletes in the state. We stall them and load every event.

Lauren Adams of the Eagles won the 100 freestyle. Hayden also won the 200 freestyle, while Bogner won the 200 IM. The Eagles also won first place in the 200 IM and 400 freestyle relays.

Penny said the Eagles’ camaraderie has proven to be very effective in winning championships.

“The bond of the team really helps build motivation to swim fast not only in the state, but throughout the season,” said Penny. “We are all excited for each other and know that our races are not just to see our own improvement, but they are to make our way to a championship.”

The Eagles reign at the top of swimming in the state doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. In fact, they could be more dominant in the years to come as they are led by freshmen and sophomores.

“Honestly, as a coach my philosophy is above winning,” Watson said. “We don’t chase all that (records and titles). It’s all about building character. This is my goal as a coach. My goal is to see these young ladies grow up to be excellent young women. It’s exciting to see what they do for each other.

Greenville finished in seventh place with 136 points.

In the AAA class championships, St. Joseph’s finished second in the state for the third consecutive year at Oceanside Collegiate. The Knights amassed 387 points, 18 points behind the Landsharks in first place.

St. Joseph coach Becky VanEvera said she was incredibly proud of her team to compete at such a high level.

“We are a school (Class AA) so consistently competing at the highest level in (Class AAA) is an incredible accomplishment for our women’s team,” said VanEvera.

VanEvera said his upper class students have done a great job leading the team this season.

“The senior class did an amazing job leading, encouraging and creating an environment where all of our new swimmers can thrive,” said VanEvera. “It’s special because a third of the girls who swam in the state for us were new to our team. Only with great team dynamics, senior leadership, and hard work do you get new swimmers and turn them into state swimmers.

The swimmers nurtured each other’s support throughout the season which resulted in an outstanding performance at the state level.

“I feel like the team this year was different from last year because there were so many new swimmers,” said Chloe Lonergan of St. Joseph. “I think seeing all of this new talent coming in has made everyone so motivated for this season, which has made us always support each other no matter what class we were in. Our seniors have never failed to bring up the whole team and they have inspired me to work my best and live in the moment.

To finish second in state for three years in a row is an incredible accomplishment, although winning a state title may have been a goal for some.

“Going in and having almost all of your races to get personal best times for this season says a lot about how hard the girls fought for every second and every point, in the end Oceanside got ahead of us,” VanEvera said. . “Because there were so many great races, the team came away proud of everything they accomplished. It was the closest they had ever managed to win the championship and it is a victory in my opinion. “

Mary Kate Farrell of the Knights won two state championships taking first place in the 200 and 500 freestyle. The Knights also won the 200 freestyle relay.

Christ Church finished third in the AAA Meet class with 343 points, while Greer Middle College Charter took ninth place with 149 points.

Claire DePiero of the Cavaliers won the State Championship in the 100 freestyle, while Hunter Grace took first place in the 100 backstroke for Southside Christian.

In the AAAAA class competition, JL Mann was fourth with 276 points, while Riverside was seventh with 206 points.

The Patriots had two swimmers who won the state championships as Delaney Franklin won the 200 IM and Lilly Gault Abdella won the 500 freestyle.

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