Racing into the finish: swim season comes to close


Norris stands on the podium after receiving her medal for her seventh place finish in the 100 fly with a time of :56.27. Norris injured her knee in the middle of the season, due to this she was not able to train for a month before the state meet. Last year, Norris got second place in the 100 fly with a time of :55.14, just two one hundredths of a second off of the first place winners time. Photo by Jean Wu.

Hannah May, News Editor

Walking into the Ohio High School state meet can be daunting. One must pass the crowd of future spectators standing outside the door, in a line that appears to stretch for miles, waiting to receive their tickets to enter the facility.

Once the meet starts, it is impossible not to notice the atmosphere that fills the natatorium. Every seat is filled and every eye is watching.

The meet is held in Canton Ohio in C.T. Branin Natatorium, which can seat up to 2,400 people and an additional 1,000 people on deck. It has been deemed the greatest high school meet in the United States of America by Swimming World Magazine.

“Knowing that it is the biggest meet of the season and being there with my teammates gets me hyped to swim fast,” senior Cara Norris said.

There is a noticeable difference in the intensity of the preliminary session, which was held on Fri. Feb 27 and the finals session, which was on Sat. Feb 28.

“It’s really great swimming at finals, especially if you walk in the second heat. You feel really proud of yourself and you’re able to show it off to everyone there,” junior Priscilla Wu said.

Though while there the preliminary session seemed to have a competitive air, it is nothing compared to finals. Teams are only able to score points in the finals session, which is why it is important to do well in prelims. Out of the 24 swimmers in each event, 16 make it back to finals.

“State was a lot of fun this year. I was happy with my finishes individually, but it was really great getting some relays back to finals. Getting to have all the other guys continue to race fast with me was definitely one of the highlights,” senior Mark Hancher said.

If a swimmer places in the top eight at prelims, they will be in the final finals heat rather than the consolation heat. The swimmers in the finals heat all receive a medal as well as the chance to stand on the podium.

The SHS swimmers who made it back to finals are:

  • Hancher in the 100 fly, 100 free, 200 free relay, and the 400 free relay
  • Senior, Benjamin Thiss in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay
  • Senior, Isaac Goldstein in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay
  • Senior, Eammon Bell in the 200 free relay
  • Senior, John Heldman in the 400 free relay
  • Norris in the 100 fly, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and the 400 free relay
  • Wu in the 50 free, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and the 400 free relay
  • Junior Mary Fry in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and the 400 free relay
  • Junior Jory Gould in the 200 medley relay
  • Junior Elizabeth Walden in the 200 free relay
  • Sophomore Hannah May in the 400 free relay

For more information on SHS swimming, click here.