Girls’ Swimming and Diving Splashes Into State


Kiera Zwack

Senior Captain Casey Gannon competes in the 500 Freestyle at Regionals. A race that qualified her for state.

Haile Miller, Writer

The Kennedy Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team are competing at state on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11. This year Kennedy has a total of five individual qualifiers, one additional relay qualifier and reached the maximum number of divers allowed to compete with three qualifiers.

The preliminary swimming round will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, including all events but the relays. At 5:00 p.m., divers will begin their competition, consisting of 11 dives. At noon, on Saturday, the swimmers will compete in their relays and the final round of the events previously competed on Friday, with the top 16 swimmers from preliminaries participating in two heats based on how well they placed.

Varsity Coach Chad Derlein shares the dedication and hard work exhibited throughout the season before the state competition.

I am most proud of all of the girls’ dedication and commitment to the team. It definitely helps us in the long run,” Derlein said. “I kept pushing them to reach their expectations, motivating them by words of encouragement, pushing them to go past their comfort zone.”

The swimming and diving season started in early August and will end after the state competition concludes. Derlein looks forward to seeing the girls’ commitment and hard work pay off this weekend.

Sophomore qualifier Lilly Adams is currently ranked ninth in the 200 Yard Individual Medley (200 IM) with a time of 2:11:00.

“I’m excited for state this year. I’m really close to breaking the pool record for my 200 IM. I think I can break it,” Adams said. “I see a lot of potential for me and my teammates to do well.”

Lilly Adams after placing second in her 200 IM at regionals, qualifying for state. (Ella Smith)

Adams’ goal is not too far out of reach, the current record at Kennedy for the 200 IM is a 2:10:65. Less than one second faster than Adams’ personal record. Adams is just one of the many girls close to breaking records before state.

Many swimmers have high state rankings for the events they are competing and some are close to breaking Kennedy records.

Junior Maria Trotta currently sits at 24.18 seconds in her 50 Yard Freestyle. She’s ranked fourth in the state and is 0.07 seconds away from breaking the Kennedy record, one she set at state last year. She’s followed in the same event by another Kennedy swimmer, freshman Lilly Anctil, ranked 17th with a time of 24.90 seconds.

Trotta is also ranked 10th in the 100 Yard Freestyle, which she will be competing in at state as well, with a time of 53.58 seconds.

Kennedy’s 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team of Maria Trotta, Lilly Anctil, Lilly Adams and Ellie Hance is ranked second overall with a time of 1:38:54.

All three diving qualifiers are ranked in the top 25, led by senior Lacey Neighbor at ninth with a score of 457.80, followed by juniors Katelyn Mackey and Kylie Link ranked 24th and 25th respectively. 

“I am feeling very positive about how we are situated going into state this weekend. In the event that we’re qualified in we are seated fairly well and hopefully moving up to score,” Derlein said.