By: Charlotte Kleid
On Friday February 24th, 13 HB students marched into the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio ready to blaze through the water. On this remarkable day, the blazers swam to victory and returned as Division II State champions.
Gigi Falke, freshman, swam the 100 fly at states, which is her favorite event in high school swimming. She said that from the experience she learned that, “through hard work and dedication, you will succeed, not just individually, but as a team too.” Besides, winning, she said that one of her favorite parts of the day was seeing so many friends from other teams, and growing even closer with her team. She shared with me that if she could choose one word to describe the moment the blazers won it would be incredible.
Sofia Jimenez also contributed to HB’s newly broken records. She broke the 100 breast record with a time of 1:05.75. Sofia competed in the 200 IM and the 100 breast making it to the final in both, then placed 5th in the 200 in and 7th in the 100 breast. Her favorite team event was the 200 medley relay, which also broke a school record, because she got to work together with her team. Sofia said that her favorite moment of the day was when, “We were all up on the podium, and we had the trophy in our hands, and it was no longer a dream. We were living in the moment.” She added that the moment was victorious.
Senior Meredith Stewart competed in the 200 free, 500 free, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay. Her favorite part of the meet was definitely cheering on the 200 medley relay. She shared that one piece of advice she would give to younger swimmers is to not, “overthink too much”. She continued saying: “Any race on any given day does not define you as an athlete”. She told me that swimming has taught her many lessons, one of which is time management, “in terms of balancing a rigorous training schedule with HB school work.” Meredith shared that swimming has allowed her to form some of the best friendships she’s ever had.
Of course, all of the swimmers appreciated the energy and enthusiasm brought by their fellow classmates, many of which joined them in Canton to cheer them on. Hathway Brown had a phenomenal day as they broke the 24 year streak of Hawken School.
Finally, on Monday, the entire school celebrated the wonderful accomplishment with delicious cake, a ceremony, and the banging of the gong!