By Alli Kling
Last Saturday, Feb. 4, the FC girl’s swimming and diving team came away with a second place finish in sectionals. The one point loss has multiple families and the girls themselves teeming with pride at how well they fought.
“We were originally supposed to lose by 41 points, so to come so close is both exciting and disappointing,” said sophomore Emma Blevens.
The afternoon began with the 200-yard medley relay. The team, consisting of sophomores Lauren Thompson, Hannah Bubnar, Anna Lowney, and Summer Allen, came away with a hard-fought third, and the meet was officially underway.
The team had been preparing for this meet for weeks, pushing each other to perform their best against Jeffersonville, their biggest competitor and the ultimate winner of sectionals.
“We swam every day, we worked hard every day and practiced through hard sets, so at the meets it’s just really fun,” said Thompson.
Senior Kelsey Pinnick said 0ne of the things she’ll miss most about this season was the team’s work ethic and competitiveness.
“They want to win as much as I do. We’ve done really well. We’ve grown a lot as a team,” said Pinnick.
Blevens held the same views, as she explained that the team had become a family over the season.
“A bunch of freshmen moved in last year, so a bunch of us got to step up and kind of help them through the season. It’s just a great thing to be a part of,” said Blevens.
Coming into the meet, the girls thought they did not hold a chance of beating Jeff. By the end of Sectionals, losing by one point was a sting, but the girls persevered and are proud of their performances.
“Even if we didn’t win, we fought hard to the end,” said Blevens.
Out of the swimmers, Thompson is the only one advancing. After her stunning performance in the 100-yard backstroke, breaking the previous pool, meet, and sectional records with a time of 56.73 seconds. She will also be competing in the 100-yard butterfly.
“We’re proud of her. Prouder than any swimmer,” said Drue Thompson, Lauren’s grandmother, whom, along with Ron Thompson, Lauren’s grandfather, had been cheering for her at sectionals.
Ron and Drue had not been the only proud family members in the crowd. Lisa Allen, mother of Summer Allen, had been among those shouting for her daughter from the edge of the pool.
“It’s pretty awesome. She’s doing really well,” said Allen. “She’s on the top of her game, and she’s learned a lot from [the high school season].”
Thompson voiced how though the workouts are tough, all swimmers have set a certain standard for their conduct.
“We’re expected to just be there for the team, which none of us have any problem with,” said Thompson.
Blevens added on to Thompson’s statement, mixing in expectations in the water and during the meets as well.
“When you’re swimming, don’t worry about the other teams, worry about yourself and how you perform. And when you’re not swimming, support the team,” said Blevens.
With this being Pinnick’s last year on the FC swim team, she has many memories and experiences she’ll miss, on of which being the team atmosphere.
“As a senior, [you’re expected] to be a leader, to be someone younger kids can look up to. This year, certain people stepped up and helped the freshmen. It was just a really fun atmosphere to have,” said Pinnick.
Joe Perkins, swim coach for both the boys and girls teams at FC, said he could not have been happier with how the day turned out. The only factor that could have made it better would have been a few more points.
“[Sectionals went] as good as they could have. All of our relays were faster than all year. There was a lot of great swims,” said Perkins. “To finish second is statement on its own. Nobody gave us a chance throughout the year.”
He wanted to commend the divers on how many points they added for FC.
“Our divers really performed well today. Picked up a lot of points for us when they didn’t have anybody in that event,” Perkins said.
All three divers, juniors Rose Korte and Anya Davenport, and senior Abby Beard, will have competed in Regionals Tuesday night. The top eight divers will be advancing to the State Championships to compete on Feb. 11 in the diving prelims.
“It’s been a great group of kids who supported each other throughout the season. They really put forth the effort that was needed to make this a great effort today. It’ll be tough [letting them go]. Very tough,” said Perkins.
*Be sure to vote for Lauren Thompson at USA Today’s Student Athlete of the Week: http://usatodayhss.com/2015/vote-here-for-student-athlete-of-the-week-indiana