After a challenging season, the girls of the Bethel High School swim team finally got their chance to shine at the annual Splash Classic, Saturday, February 25. The meet was a day full of personal achievements, much deserved after the hard work each swimmer demonstrated throughout the year.
The Splash Classic is an annual meet in which girls who swim on co-ed teams during a boy’s season have the chance to compete with athletes in a similar situation. “Swimming against other girls is a completely different experience,” says Laura Steinmentz, captain of the team, “I always look forward to the Splash meet because it gives us girls some normal competition.”
Christine Neville adds, “Obviously we do our best in every meet even if it’s against boys, but this meet is different. We get to [swim] against girls on our level and it makes us go faster than normal [because we’re] trying to beat them.”
Many of the girls made personal bests in events, along with relays, beginning with the Individual Medley, in which Bethel A (Aiden Ford swimming backstroke, Laura Steinmentz breaststoke, Sarah Whalen swimming butterfly, and Alexa Witcofsky finishing with freesyle) finished seventh overall with a time of 2:13.60. Bethel B finished second in their heat with a time 2:23.16, seven seconds better than their seed time.
Sophomore Sarah Whalen finished 10th overall with a time of 2:35.58 in the 200 IM, and beat her best time in the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:06.88, finishing 7th overall. Katie Bozzuti, Junior, also redeemed herself after an unfortunate DQ during the 200 freestyle relay by finishing at a time of 6:36.90, knocking seven seconds off here previous time.
Swimmers Steinmentz, Kayla Lance, and Helen Belato made their best times during the 100 freestyle. Steinmentz swam a 1:05.81, while Lance knocked two seconds off her time with a 1:07.96, and Belato with a 1:09.51, also knocking two seconds off.
In the 100 breastroke, Steinmentz finished fifth in the state with a time of 1:20.87. Christine Neville made a personal best with a time of 1:25.43, two seconds faster than her seed time, and Molly Nichols, finishing with a 1:24.38.
The Splash meet was no doubt a day of accomplishments in which many of the swimmer’s felt that their hard work this season paid off. Alexa Witcofsky explains, “[During the season] we usually get beat pretty bad, which is hard because it feels like you never [accomplish] anything from your hard work.” However, at Splash she enjoyed, “being able to actually beat people.” Kayla Lance, summarizes, “the Splash meet was a great way to end my last swim season!”