Oxygen Is Overrated: CLHS Swim Team takes 2nd place at SAC

By Mikayla Baumgarte

On Jan. 14, the Concordia Lutheran High School boy’s and girl’s swim teams got 2nd at SAC. This first time in five years for the girls and six years for the boys that they have placed this high. CLHS swam against seven other schools, including Snider, Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Luers, Wayne, North Side, South Side and Northrop.

In nearly all of the events that day there were three heats, or rounds, and there were typically eight lanes of swimmers competing. Both the boys and the girls team’s goal was to beat Snider and Bishop Dwenger their biggest competitors in the SAC.

“Do your best to make sure a Dwenger and Snider swimmer are behind you,” exclaimed the girl’s coach, Bruce Graham to the team.

The extra effort put in by both teams paid off at the SAC meet. The girl’s team received second overall. They were 56 points behind Snider and 30 points ahead of Bishop Dwenger. The boy’s team also received second overall. They were 70 points behind Snider and 40 points ahead of Bishop Luers.

Four swimmers and one diver on the girl’s team were awarded All SAC. Those swimmers were Natalie Hazelet, Lauren Doerffler, Hannah Biedess, Kiara Arthur and diver Maddie Gleave. The All SAC award is given to swimmers and divers who earn a certain amount of point for their team. In addition to the All SAC winners, three swimmers, Kiley Chandler, Kelsey Paugh and Moorea Reiskytl, received All SAC Honorable Mention.

On the boy’s team there were two All SAC winners. Those swimmers were Liam Brooks and Jacob McGauley. There were also five swimmers, Evan Kropf, Max Imler, Nathan Walz, Mason Pickett, Josh Goeglein, and one diver, Matthew Hayward, that received All SAC Honorable Mention.

In addition to the large amount of All SAC wins, there were also some individual wins for the girl’s team. Maddie Gleave won first place in diving and Lauren Doerffler won first place in the 100 breaststroke. Natalie Hazelet also broke the current school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.29. Her time not only broke the school record, but it got her second place in that event.

For the boy’s team, the 400 freestyle relay won first place. The swimmers in that relay were Evan Kropf, Jacob McGauley, Mason Pickett and Liam Brooks. Snider was ahead of CLHS for the first two legs of the relay but Picket closed the gap, allowing Brooks to be able to get significantly ahead of Snider and win the event. This was the last event of the entire meet and the rest of the CLHS team was filling the natatorium with their cheers.

“It was so intense. You could tell how hard the boys were racing and how much everyone wanted them to win. It made me proud to be a Cadet,” exclaimed senior Moorea Reiskytl about the winning relay.

This year both teams introduced weightlifting to their weekly training thanks to the new coach, Sean Gibson. Previously, the boys and girls relied on just time in the pool to improve their performance at meets and SAC in particular. Now, they not only swim six days a week, but they weightlift three days a week on top of swimming.

“Adding strength training has increased power in our strokes, explosiveness off our starts and turns, improved core strength and helped to prevent injuries,” said Gibson about weightlifting.

Both the boys and girls teams are elated about being SAC runner-ups. Now it’s time for the girl’s to get prepared for Sectionals on Feb. 4, where they will compete against more teams than just in the SAC. Teams like Carroll and Homestead will be there to challenge the CLHS swimmers.