FISH win Sectionals in Buffalo! A Swimmer's Perspective

Jeanne Fye

This year, Sectionals started bright and early because of a flight change. We were supposed to have a flight at 11 am, but that one got cancelled due to the plane groundings, so we had to get a different one at 6:25 am. Everyone arrived at the airport around 5 am and that’s where our adventure began. Our flight there was pretty empty, due to how early it was, and we were able to sit next to our teammates.

    After landing in Buffalo, New York, we had time to go to iHop and get a late breakfast/early lunch. Ray told each table a riddle about an owl and then, once our meal was finished, we were off to Target to get supplies for the entire weekend. Our target run went pretty smoothly and most people were able to get in and out quickly, even Alli! Our last stop before the hotel was Chipotle, where Grace and Georgia both stayed in the car. Finally, the team went to our hotel.

    However, only some rooms were ready, so the distance swimmers got those rooms, while the rest of the swimmers waited in the lobby. Eventually, most of the rooms were ready and then, it was time to go to the distance session. Everyone warmed up and the meet began. The first day ran pretty smoothly as the distance girls, Maddie, Natalia, Kelly, Lilly, and Bridget swam the 1500 and the distance boys, David and Sam, swam the 800. Maddie and Sam both got first in their events. The session finished with the 800 free relay where the A girls relay got first. The meet was off to a good start! We all went to dinner in the hotel, which was much better than last year! We all went back to our rooms and most people watched March Madness (Go UVA!) and did cupping to prepare for the meet. And then, it was time for day 2.

    On day 2, Friday, everyone swam and almost everyone made finals! There were some best times in the morning, but since most people made finals, they had a second chance to swim. The most exciting race on the morning was probably the boys 100 back where Sammy, Ignat and Aaron got the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds for finals. At night, Maddie won 200 free and 400 free, Bridget got 7th in 400 free, Dora got 2nd in 100 breast, Aiken got 4th in 100 breast and 2nd in 100 fly, Alli got 7th in 100 fly, Sam, Ignat and Aaron got 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in 100 back. And that was just the FISH people in A finals! The relay of the day was the 200 medley where the girls A and B relays got 1st and 7th. The guys got fourth. Day 2 was a good day.

    Day 3!!! This day was most people’s hardest day because of the tough events. However, each swimmer did their best and many made finals! At finals, Maddie, Bridget, and Natalia got 1st, 6th, and 8th in the 800 free, Kelly and Ignat both got 7th in 200 fly, Grace and Alli got 6th and 7th in 50 free, Aiken got 2nd in 50 free and 5th in 200 breast, Dora and Skye got 3rd and 6th in 200 breast, Ignat got 8th in 200 breast and 4th in 400 IM, Alli and Skye got 6th and 8th in 400 IM. Again, that was only the A finalists. The 400 free relay was at the end and the girls got 1st and 4th, while the guys got 1st as well! Ignat had the hardest day, as he swam 200 fly and breast and 400 IM, so he won the award at dinner.

    Now for the final day, Sunday. Everyone was ready for the meet to be over, but they still tried their hardest. During the last finals, Sam got 2nd in the 1500, Maddie got 1st in 200 back, Sam, Aaron, and Ignat got 3rd, 4th, and 5th in 200 back, Alli, Grace, and Maddie got 2nd, 5th, and 7th, Aiken got 2nd in 100 free and 8th in 200 IM, Alli got 5th in 200 IM, and Ignat got 4th in 200 IM. Today, there were two relays, the 200 free relay, where FISH got 1st for boys and girls and the 400 medley relay, where the girls got 1st and 4th.

    The FISH girls team had 771 points in total and we got first by a little less than 400 points. The boys got 481 points and won by 18 points. Overall, FISH got 1252 points and won by around 400 points!! Every person on the team contributed to the win by making finals and dropping time. The whole meet was a great bonding experience.

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