Swimming Caps Off Season with Great Performance

Benjamin J Veshi

The qualifying members of the Hargrave Swimming team took the trip to Christiansburg, VA to compete in the VISAA State Swimming Championship over the weekend. Throughout a weekend of great competition, the Tigers emerged proud of their performance to cap off the 2019-2020 season.

The state team consisted of Andrew Bolz, Nick deVeer, Ben Gregori, Nathan Higdon, Scott Kennedy, Michael Lewis, Wesley Marquardt and Andrew Ponton. 

The first event was the 200 Medley Relay. Hargrave’s B Relay (Marquardt, Gregori, Lewis, Ponton) team dropped 1.34 seconds from the VIC Conference Championships, while the A Relay (Bolz, deVeer, Higdon, Kennedy) dropped 2.60 seconds to qualify 12th in the prelims, meaning the A Relay would swim again that evening in the Consolation Finals.

The first individual event was the 200 IM that both Bolz and Higdon would be swimming in. Bolz placed 6th overall and dropped 2.83 seconds and breaking under 2 minutes, while Higdon dropped 0.73 seconds to finish 12th. This meant that Bolz qualified for the Championship Finals and Higdon to the Consolation Finals.
The final set of individual events for us was the 50 freestyle bonus. We had 4 swimmers who qualified for this by meeting the cut off time and by qualifying in another event:
–Kennedy placed 18th and dropped 0.51 seconds (:24.56) and setting a personal best; 
–Lewis placed 54th but unfortunately could not drop any additional time (:25.55);
–Marquardt placed 62nd and added just 0.05 to his best time (:25.77);
–Ponton finished 63rd and dropped 0.44 seconds and setting a personal best.

During the evening session, the Tigers placed in the following events:
200 Medley Relay A Team – 12th overall and dropping a further 1.08 seconds. 
200 IM – Bolz came in 5th overall and dropped a further 2.23 seconds!
200 IM – Higdon finished 13th overall in the Consolation Finals.

During Saturday’s morning preliminaries, Hargrave had swimmers in the backstroke, breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay:
–100 backstroke – Bolz dropped 1.35 seconds (:53.97) to make it into the Championship Finals by placing 8th (and the only freshman)
–100 breastroke – Higdon placed 11th and made another Consolation Final and deVeer dropped 2.63 seconds to place 21st, out of 42 swimmers
–400 freestyle relay – B Relay (Marquardt, Gregori, Lewis, Ponton) dropped 3.77 seconds which saw everyone post their personal bests! Lewis and Ponton dropped under 1 minute for the first time this season, and Gregori was just 0.21 seconds off accomplishing the same feat! The A Relay (Bolz, deVeer, Higdon, Kennedy) dropped 1.48 seconds and placed 13th overall moving them into the Consolation Finals. 

Saturday’s Finals:
–Bolz dropped a further 0.71 seconds to place 6th overall in the 100 backstroke;
–Higdon dug deep and dropped another 0.10 seconds to finish 10th overall for the 100 breaststroke in a very close and exciting finish.
–The A Relay team didn’t hold back and with a quick change of switching Higdon and Bolz around, to drop an impressive 4.38 seconds to finish 10th overall! and deVeer dropping 2.5 seconds of those!

So after all these accomplishments, ultimately, as a team, Hargrave finished with the following results:
Out of 45 teams, Hargrave placed 13th overall (D1 and D2);
Out of 27 teams in our Division (D2), Hargrave finished 3rd

It was an outstanding performance, both as a team and individuals, to round out an incredible season!