by Maddie Hommey
The WHS Lions swim team competed at the Maryland 2A state championships Saturday, February 25th at the University of Maryland Eppley recreation center.
This was the final meet for the Lions’ seniors, so they finished on a high note. This included multiple dropped times, personal records, school records, state placements, and an overall great time.
This overall great time included cheering for their teammates, enjoying fun bus rides, and food and milkshakes at Fuddruckers after.
Junior Mikaela Miller reflected on the meet, “It was my first experience at a big meet like that, so it was really cool to see everyone from all over Maryland cheering on their team while getting to cheer on our Walkersville team, and just having a great time.”
“The bus rides are always very memorable and this year was no exception. We go to Fuddruckers after each state meet also, which is very fun,” added senior Jack Chavez.
To complement the enjoyment the team has with each other, they found extra joy in their performances.
Miller excitedly stated, “The state meet went well for all swimmers that participated. I was excited to see our guys’ team break two relay records and Michael break his own 100 backstroke record.”
Michael Flegel placed 8th in this 100 backstroke out of the whole state of Maryland. He broke his own record and is only a sophomore. “It really reflects how all of my hard work in the pool has paid off,” Flegel exclaimed.
As Flegel is still very young, he will be looking to continue his winning in the future years. “With the comradery we have with each other, I look forward to the years to come and achieving new goals for myself and the team” Flegel explained.
Additionally, Flegel was a key member of two relays that earned podium honors and beat school records. The boys 200 medley relay broke a record that they have already broken this year and placed seventh in the state. Other members of this team included juniors Bryce Miller and Ben Moreno, and sophomore Noah Wilson. The boys 200 freestyle relay placed seventh in the state and beat a school record as well. Sophomore Cameron Conley, junior Bryce Miller, and senior Jack Chavez joined Flegel in this win.
Flegel said, “It feels amazing to be on the podium at states for multiple events. I knew from the first meet of the season that many of us including myself could do something special and break multiple records. So, at the end of the season it was a great moment to share with my teammates.”
The 200 freestyle relay was the final event of the meet and the final race in Chavez’s career. So, it was quite remarkable to end it with a win. Chavez, a senior captain said “It feels good that I get to leave my mark on Walkersville.”
These many records were set with a fairly young team for both the boys and girls. They expect to compete for higher places in the state and continue to break records in the coming years.
Senior Grace Armogida said, “I felt like we really put our best swimmers forward for states with a solid line that we know we could place with. It is hard with a team that is so young, but I’m really proud of them!”
The state championship was senior girls’ captain, Armogida’s, final meet as well. She added, “it’s a bittersweet feeling that I’ve been swimming since I was five and now it’s all over, but I’m excited to see what the future holds for the team in the next few years; I think they can bring home a state title.”
The boys team placed 10th overall, and the girls team placed 24th overall in the 2A Maryland state championship.