On Feb. 22, the Meade County High School Swim Teams season ended at the KHSAA State Swim Meet, which was held at the University of Kentucky’s Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington, Ky this year, rather than at the University of Louisville where it has been held at for several year.
The State meet competes over three days, diving on day one, girls swimming competes on day two, and the boys swimming finish off the meet on day three. This season Meade has dominated at meets they competed in at the local level outright, but swimming at State Meet is a whole new animal, and with KHSAA deciding to throw the swimmers a curve ball by holding the meet at a pool no swimmers have ever been in, makes it a whole lot harder.
“None of them have ever swam in this pool, it feels a lot different than other pools we’ve swam in like UofL’s pool. The kids have struggled all weekend since we’ve been here,” Head Coach Kelly Wilson said of the new pool change, “The lanes are a lot wider and just gives a different feel to it. We got in here on Thursday for practice to be ready to go on Friday, they came in worked hard and decided that they were just going to go out there and give everything they had.”
Sophomore Kara Bewley, the only female swimmer Meade had qualified to swim at State, competed in only one event, which was the 100yd Breaststroke. Bewley, who has been setting the MCHS record in the 100yd breaststroke by continually setting new PRs this season, breaking her own record meet after meet.
At State, she did it once again by finishing with a time of 1:11.34, but that time was still not good enough to advance here to the top 16, which swim in the championship round. Bewley finished the season as Region 3 Champion and set the new MCHS record for 100yd Breaststroke.
Bewley, who is swimming for the second time at the state meet, talked about the nervousness of competing at state and having to swim in an unfamiliar pool.
“Even though this is my second time here I was pretty nervous, I mean regardless you’re going to be nervous, but it just seems that here at state the nerves are a little more. I am more used to swimming in the UofL pool, simply because we generally have a meet or two there during the regular season, but this is a nice natatorium,” Bewley said. “I just wanted to go out there and give it my all and that’s what I did. I’m not mad at how it came out.”
For the boys, Meade competed in three events, the 200yd Medley Relay, 400yd Freestyle relay, and Tanner Medley competed in the 100yd Backstroke. Seniors Logan Rister, and Clint Reardon, along with Conner, and Tanner Medley made up the relay team, where they qualified for at with an at large bid.
In the 200yd Medley they were able to shave some time off but were still not able to advance out of the prelims, finishing 32nd with a time of 1:51.21. in the 400 Freestyle they took nearly three seconds off their time from regionals, but still only netted them a 30th place finish.
Tanner Medley, the only boys team swimmer competing as an individual, advanced to state with an automatic bid by winning the region 3 championship in the 100yd backstroke. Medley finished his event placing 27th with a time of 57:25, which was .09 slower than what he swam at regionals.
Medley echoed Bewley’s comments about swimming at state rather then ate a regular season meet, and that how swimming in a new pool is a little different.
“In larger pools like this, and you’re in the outside lanes, you catch all that water from the center lanes, it’s tough to swim against. I had a day of rest yesterday, so I’m not too disappointed in my results, “Medley said of his swim, “I would have liked to have done better, but all in all I’m pretty happy. I work hard every season and set a goal to come back here every year, so I’ll keep working and hopefully be back here again.”
This was Tanner’s second year swimming at state and continues to improve year after year. The team’s last event was the 400yd Freestyle and each boy that hit the water left everything they had in the pool, shaving off three seconds from their qualifying time and when it was all done a very emotional Coach Wilson gave each of her swimmers a hug and said how proud she was of each and everyone of them.
“Our goal this weekend was to come in here and be better than we were before we got here. They did that. They PRd by threes seconds. This was our seniors’, Logan Rister and Clint Reardon, last swim, and each day at practice I tell the kids “last ones a Fast one” every set, and when they stepped to the block tonight Logan looked at me and gave me a heart shape with his hands and said “Last One Fast One Coach”, and he did just that by setting a personal best.” Coach Wilson said of her relay team, “I am just so proud of each one of these kids, they work so hard everyday to come out here and compete against other schools that have so much more to train with. It is a testament to how much harder they must work to be able to compete and to just make it to swim here at state. I am just so Proud.”