Swimming to the Title

Boys swim team brings home the gold in the State Championship

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Photo Courtesy of Alex Udrys.

The weekend before spring break, the Wakeland boys swimming and diving team competed and won State at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio. The boys won with a total of 215 points, claiming the state championship title. 

Despite COVID-19 and the recent snowstorm, the boys were still able to dominate at State. 

“This State was pretty weird performance-wise because everyone in the state was out of the water during the snowstorm that rolled through, so tons of people didn’t drop much time at State. Personally, I did pretty well. I was right around what I went last year in every event, even with the wacky circumstances,” junior Conor McKenna said. 

McKenna set a new record for Wakeland in the 200 medley relay and defended his state title in the 100 fly relay. 

Many boys on the Wakeland team have been participating in swim events for as long as ten years. 

“I’ve been swimming [in the] summer league since I was 4 or 5, but [I’ve been swimming] competitively for four years,” junior Tate Bladon said.

Bladon placed fifth and sixth in his individual swimming events, and placed second in both of his relays. 

The boys trained day and night to prepare for State, some even starting right when quarantine was lifted from pools. 

“I started my training last May with my club swim team, doing about eight practices a week throughout the summer. When school started in the fall, I added high school practice to my schedule, for a total of 11 practices a week. During all of these practices, I worked very closely with my coaches to track my progress throughout the season,” junior Alex Udrys said.

Udrys competed in the 200 yard medley relay as the breaststroke leg and in the 100 yard breaststroke. He was a tenth of a second off his best in the 100 yard breaststroke. 

Ever since their first state win in 2014, the boys have been striving to win a second state championship title. 

 “The last couple of years we placed second, so the goal this year was always to reach up and snag a team title,” McKenna said. 

Winning the state title brought in an overflow of emotions to the team. 

“Winning was something amazing. Us guys on the swim team are super closely knit, so we truly depend on one another and compete for one another during our meets. To win and share the excitement of winning with that group of guys was unforgettable,” McKenna said. 

“Winning state was the best feeling in the world! Being with all my closest friends, supporting each other and reaching one awesome goal was amazing,” Bladon said.

After all their hard work, the boys were able to bring home a trophy to Wakeland, returning as champions.