Wildcats dominate and win back-to-back state championships


Photo courtesy of David Meisel

Junior captain Healey Morgan dives in the pool for her race. She placed third in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle.

The girls’ swim and dive team began every meet this season with a chant that included the words, ‘day by day, we get better and better, until we can’t be beat.’ The team transformed this saying from a cheer to a reality by becoming back-to-back 4A/3A state champions.

Right off the bat the girls showed they came to win. They finished first in the second event, the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.92. This relay was swam by senior captains Maren Conze and Sienna Karp, junior captain Healey Morgan and sophomore Madeleine Simmons.

Karp also finished first individually in the 200 individual medley (IM) and the 100 breaststroke. Sophomore Isla Bartholomew finished second in the 100 breaststroke, which gave the team a combined 37 points in that event.

“It was a very bittersweet moment for me. I was so incredibly proud of Sienna but also sad that this was her last race as a senior. I’m going to miss her so much, she’s always been by my side. I was so proud of us for going one, two,” Bartholomew said.

The girls’ team also had two other second place finishes both by Simmons. One was in the 500 freestyle and the other was in the 100 butterfly.

I would say that I’m really happy with both of my swims. I was especially nervous about the 100 fly because it was such a close field but overall I’m satisfied with how I finished. I had a pretty good idea that I wouldn’t be able to win either of my events so in a way that kind of took off some of the pressure and I could have fun.

— Madeleine Simmons

The Wildcats had a number of other top finishes. Morgan placed third in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle, Conze placed third in both the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle and Bartholomew placed seventh in the 200 IM.

Not every team can win a state championship and come back the next year and do it again. With grit and determination, the Wildcats got their storybook season ending by beating BCC who placed second by 21 points.

“I think that they were a very talented group of girls that worked well together. They came together really well as a team and set goals that they achieved. They swam for each other and did really well for the past two years. It’s going to be hard to see the seniors go next year,” head coach Jamie Grimes said.