Swim and Dive Competes Despite the Worrying Weather

The swim team placed 8th and the dive team placed second at the Gladstone Aquatic Center Jan. 11.


kate vankeirsbilck

Senior Reilly Jackoboice gasps for air on the 100 yard breaststroke Jan. 11 at the Gladstone Aquatic Center.

Kate Vankeirsbilck, reporter

With the worry of the roads and the possible snowstorm ahead, the swim team trekked to the meet to compete against 18 other high schools around the metro. The meet was originally Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12. The finals on Saturday were canceled due to severe weather. The dive team competed at the Gladstone Aquatic Center with the swim team instead of the Blue Springs Centennial like originally planned due to the severe weather. Despite the weather, the swim team placed 8th out of 18 teams and dive placed second, with senior and dive captain Caroline Knopke placing first and junior Lindsey Dougherty placing 7th. 

“I don’t think the weather impacted our performance because we knew it wasn’t in our control and we all went out and did our best in the pool,” sophomore Elise Stringer said.

Swimmers competed in their usual events and some brand new ones. Junior Emma Grojean swam in her normal event of 100-yard backstroke but also was able to swim in the 200-yard freestyle which is an event she had never swum before. She achieved a personal record for both events she swam in. In backstroke, Grojean dropped three seconds from her previous best time last year achieving one minute and two minutes 12 seconds for 100-yard backstroke and two minutes and 24 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle.


“She always pushes herself in practice and at meets, she swims her races with confidence and gives each race her all…and is an excellent team player,” head coach Kelly Timson said.

 Knopke also achieved her personal best at the meet scoring 434 points beating her original personal best at 407 points and coach Hanna Bortnick’s personal best score. Dougherty placed 7th at the meet achieved her own personal best with 336 points, qualifying her score for a state consideration time. 

Senior Caroline Knopke and Junior Lindsey Dougherty laugh together as they practice dives for their meet Jan. 11 at Gladstone Aquatic Center.

“They both performed extremely well and have improved a lot since last year, so I just want them to keep this work ethic up so we can get more personal records this year,” Bortnick said.

kate vankeirsbilck
Senior Reilly Jackoboice gasps for air on the 100 yard breaststroke Jan. 11 at the Gladstone Aquatic Center.

Both swim and dive are working toward their goal of getting state qualification times and scores. State is Feb. 20 and 21 in St. Louis, Missouri. The personal bests from both the dive and the swim team will help the teams both reach their goal of having as many girls qualify as possible. So far, one diver, Knopke has qualified for state and six swimmers, senior and co-captain Olivia Townsend, senior Peyton Wiewel, senior co-captain Bridget Schumm, junior Kate Conway, sophomore Ava Albracht and sophomore Grace Townsend.

“Swimming is 10% physical and 90% mental. As long as our swimmers and divers keep up the good attitude we will continue to improve and finish a great season,” senior co-captain Schumm said.

Kate Vankeirsbilck
Sophomore Ava Albaracht swims the 100-yard backstroke Jan. 11 at Gladstone Aquatic Center and gets the time of 1:11.