The Bethel Swim team placed sixteenth out of twenty-six teams in class S boys swimming Wednesday, March 16 at Wesleyan University. Despite the rough season with only one win against Danbury, swimmers were able to end the season with pride, and a few personal best times.
While Bethel’s team is fairly new, it has been improving more each year. In fact, many swimmers are first introduced to the sport freshman year, which is quite a disadvantage compared to many of the other teams who have been swimming for their entire lives. With this said, placing sixteenth in states was considered a huge triumph to many on the team. “We are so much better than we were last year,” says Molly Nichols, a sophomore on the team, “I think it’s awesome that we didn’t even come close to last!” Katie Book, another sophomore adds that everyone,” put their heart and soul into swimming and did the best they could.”
Few swimmers swam at states, but the ones who did beat their best times in each event. In the 200 medley relay, Bethel (Tucker Bjornson swimming backstroke, Andrew Guercio swimming breaststroke, Kyle Rogers in butterfly, and Patrick Garrity anchoring with freestyle) swam a time of 2:00.85, beating their seed time of 2:03.01.
Bethel’s next event, the 200 freestyle relay, consisted of all senior girls (Kayla Lance, Christine Neville, Laura Steinmentz, and Alex Witcofsky) and swam a 2:00.39, managing to knock a little over a second off of their previous time of 2:01.23.
In the 400 freestyle relay, junior Kevin Gallagher, sophomore Kenny Darrah, senior Patrick Garrity, and freshman Tucker Bjornson also swam a personal best of 3:52.44, two seconds better than their best time.
Tucker Bjornson was the only member of Bethel to swim an individual event at states. “Coming in as a freshman, I was very excited for the season, and never expected to get this far,” Bjornson says, “at states I felt like I swam well and I can’t wait for the next few seasons to swim even better!” During the 200 IM, Bjornson swam a personal best of 2:17.24, and a 1:02.59 during the 100 backstroke, taking third place in his heat.
States was the last swim meet of the season, and many swimmers are upset for it to come to a close. Rebecca Jones, a sophomore and diver on the team states, “We broke records this season, and became not only a team, but a family.”