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Swim and dive team reflects on KLAA meet

Ava Shurtleff

On Nov. 2-4,2023, the girls swim and dive team competed at Brighton High School for the KLAA conference. This meet was one of the last meets of the season, right before the MHSAA State Championship at Eastern Michigan University. 

With this meet being one of the last meets for many swimmers, there was an air of excitement and anxiety at Brighton. Senior Ava Shurtleff felt like she was a mix of emotions.


“I’ve definitely had some disappointing races this year, and I didn’t want anything like that to ruin my last experience. I had to race at conferences, and be with my team,” Shurtleff said. “I think because of that I really tried to focus on the excitement and be grateful for the opportunity to be there. I definitely tried to smile more and enjoy my races, even if the times weren’t personal records.”


Although swimming can be a very independent sport with focusing on improving one’s times, one thing all swimmers can agree on is being able to cheer for other swimmers motivating them to swim faster!


“My favorite part of the KLAA meet was to see my teammates get their state cuts that they have been working for this whole season,” junior Katya Vereshchagina says. “I was very proud and happy for Vanessa getting her best time for the 200 freestyle, Yufan getting her best times in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, and Karina getting her best 100 backstroke time.”


This season was a long hard one and it gave the swimmers the chance to make goals for themselves to accomplish through the season that played off at the end.


“I swam a 26 second in my 50 freestyle which is crazy to me because in January of last year I went a 29 seconds,” freshman Chikku Gopalsamy said. “It really shows how hard my work paid off and that nothing is impossible.”


The KLAA meet went great with many of the swimmers feeling upbeat, swimming fast, and dropping time. Some swimmers, such as sophomore Vanessa McMale, made state cuts.


“My proudest goal that I accomplished at this meet was making the state cut for the 200 freestyle and getting a 25 seconds in the 50 freestyle,” McMale said.


Divers also did an amazing job at KLAA Championships, and qualified for regionals. with senior Lorelai Maisano placing 1st and being named diving champion. Following up, with senior Fiona Popji placing 9th at championships. Sophomore Taelyn Freise got a new personal record breaking her 300 and placing 21st. Junior Kira Kozlowski placed 13th, sophomore Regina Garnica placed 17th, and sophomore Clara Pohlonski placing 21st.


The season went by fast, but many swimmers and divers are proud of what they accomplished and had fun altogether as a team, getting closer with each other and pushing for each other’s best.

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Bhriti Harish, Staff Writer
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