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Making a Splash at States

The Maclay Varsity Swim and Dive Team Sets New School Records at the State Finals

Photo by Brooke Nohle/Maclay Andalusian

On Nov. 4, the Marauders competed at the Florida Swim & Dive State Championship Meet in Ocala, Florida. The state team consisted of the 10 fastest swimmers and one diver. On the team were seniors Bella Ekk, Hanson Higdon and Sara Mnookin, juniors Zara Jaffe, Lauren Carter, Hayden Lourenco, Blake Rhodes and Vuk Usina, sophomore Grayson Banks and freshmen Manny Squitier and McKay Yearty. The girls team placed 12th overall and the boys team placed 18th.

Ekk was runner-up for her events and set three new school records. One for the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:46.64 and the other for the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.54. She also set a new 50 freestyle record as a part of the 4x50 free relays with a time of 22.84. These times became Ekk’s new personal bests as well as updating three of Maclay’s individual school records.

This meet was more important than the previous ones because this was the final meet,” Ekk said. “I am relieved that the season is over but sad that it was the last high school swim meet I will ever swim at.”

Higdon set a new 50 freestyle school record with a time of 20.74 and placed fifth, beating a legendary hall of fame member Rusty Robbin’s record from 1986. He also won the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.31, putting him only 0.05 seconds behind the school record.

Aside from the record-breaking seniors, Yearty placed 14th in the 200 freestyle with a new personal best and Rhodes placed 18th in the 200 freestyle.

The girls and boys relay teams also competed at the state championship and made their mark on the scoreboard. The girls relay team, including Ekk, Jaffe, Yearty and Carter, placed 14th and 16th. Similarly, the boys team, including Banks, Rhodes, Usina, Squitier and Higdon, placed 11th and 17th.

“The boys relay did great,” Rhodes said. “The great relationships we built while at practice led us to better understand how each of us swam and caused us all to drop time while being in sync.”

Competing as the only diver for Maclay, Mnookin stepped up to the challenge and performed well against her competitors. Mnookin performed 11 dives which placed her 10th overall with a score of 349.15.

I felt pretty good with how I competed,” Mnookin said. “I never would have thought I would have placed 10th in the state, so I was really excited and happy with my results.”


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Andy Poll

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