The GHS Girls Swim Team took on State for their second year and left more successful than last year.
On Feb. 14, a group of five girls represented GHS at the Girls Swimming and Diving State Meet. Freshman Naomi Weaver, sophomores Madison Peckinpaugh and Charli Graves, and juniors Grace Nuhfer and Alayna Kenworthy competed in a combined total of four events. Kenworthy and Nuhfer both competed in individual events, as well as two relays each.
“This year the State meet was different for me because I got to swim an individual event whereas last year I didn’t. Last year, qualifying for State was a wonderful surprise, but this year this was something fully expected and we were able to make sure we would be ready,” Kenworthy said.
Kenworthy’s qualification in the 200 individual medley bought up the event total from last year, where Nuhfer and Peckinpaugh also competed. For Weaver and Graves, however, this was their first State experience at the high school level. All five girls have competed with their club swim team at Senior and Age Group State Meets, but High School State is a different experience entirely.
“High School State was definitely different than club state. High School State was more intense than club state. You had all the schools in the state there, tons of people cheering, and people doing anything they could to get back to finals. It was also different because that was it. After club state there are other meets you can qualify for, and go to, but High School State is the end of the season. There are no other meets after so it’s pretty much all or nothing,” Weaver said.
Nuhfer qualified for finals in the 100 fly and finished 12th overall. This is a measurable improvement compared to her final placement of 18th in last year‘s competition.
“This year’s state meet was a lot of fun. This year, unlike last year, I made finals in my 100 fly. It was a super exciting experience and I learned a lot from it. I now know exactly where I want to be next year and I’m super excited to see the team progress as a whole,” Nuhfer said.
The two qualifying relays, the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay, did not see the time drops they were hoping to see, but still had good races overall. The 200 medley relay of Weaver, Peckinpaugh, Kenworthy, and Nuhfer finished 23rd. The 400 free relay of Nuhfer, Peckinpaugh, Graves, and Kenworthy finished 19th, just missing the cut to swim again in finals.
“It was really great to be around and compete against some of the fastest swimmers that I have ever met. It was surprising to see how many people were there from schools I’d never even heard of, some that don’t even have their own pools. I felt super accomplished and motivated at the same time really, really honored to be able to be there,” Graves said.