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Women's swim team flys into second place

WED. | 03-02-22 | SPORTS

     On Friday Feb. 11, the Rose swim team swam at the 3A High School State Championship. With multiple scoring swimmers, the women's team placed second in the state. 

     State Champions Emma Hastings and Madeline Smith have been on the swim team since they were freshmen, but since they were five years old, they have swam with East Carolina Aquatics. They get most of their training from the nine practices they do a week with their club team.

     For the fifth year in a row, the conference was extremely close. Rose had a very good performance during the championship meets this year. It all led to the state championship where the best of the state competed. 

     Social studies teacher Andrew Pierce has been the head swimming coach at Rose for five years, so he has coached this years girl's team for the duration of their high school careers.

     “The girls did very well and a group of


Photo by Emma Hastings

guys went their best times and went onto regionals, where the women won,'' Pierce said.

     The meet starts with a morning session called preliminaries where the top eight swimmers in each event qualify for finals. In the evening, finals starts and swimmers score the points that go toward the team score. 

     “With the combination of diving and swimming we were able to come in second place in the states for the women's team,” Pierce said.

     Senior diver Lillian Ozimek, came third in the state at the state meet this year. Ozimek has been diving for four years. Due to East Carolina University (ECU) losing their swim and dive program during the pandemic, Ozimek has had to practice in Raleigh for the past two years. Smith and Hastings have been swimming outside of the county for a while now too. Both of them qualified for junior nationals. Hastings even made it to the US Olympic Team Trials just this past year. 

     “Those swimmers have had to go above and beyond to get to the skill level of where they are now,” Pierce said.

     Smith has won the 200 freestyle four years in a row including this year. Hastings won her first state championship when she was a sophomore at Rose and has won every year since. The medley relay placed 9th with Eleanor Blount, Grace McCarthy, Byrn Blackmon and Lilley Grace Blackmon. This year Hastings and Smith got second place in the four hundred relay with  Lilley Grace Blackmon and McCarthy at the state championship.

     “Emma and Madeline killed it at the 400 relay, especially Madeline,” Pierce said.

     The Rose swim team ended the year as regional champions, and runner up at states. Hastings and Smith combined for three wins at states, and Hastings walked out with a state record.

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