The Road to State

The RRHS swim team’s success continues to states.

Celebrating their second place finish at the VHSL tournament on Feb. 17 in Richmond, VA are the girls RRHS swim team. The second place finish for the girls and the thirteenth place finish for the boys capped off a dominant post-season run. Photo submitted by the RRHS swim team.

Celebrating their second place finish at the VHSL tournament on Feb. 17 in Richmond, VA are the girls RRHS swim team. The second place finish for the girls and the thirteenth place finish for the boys capped off a dominant post-season run. Photo submitted by the RRHS swim team.

Mitesh Shrestha, Sports Editor

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Capping off an impressive 7-1 season, the RRHS swim team dominated throughout the postseason. Finishing within the top 10 at the conference meet, top two at regionals, 19 state qualifiers, and now 13 swimmers finishing top 10 at the state competition held on Feb. 17 at Richmond, VA.

The successful season has been a culmination of the steady progress the swim team has demonstrated the past three seasons. The inaugural RRHS season, in which the team won a single meet, now embodies the perseverance of the team. From there they slowly progressed into a more successful team, finishing 6-8 the second year. They also finished with six state qualifiers who made their mark at the state level, as swimmers like senior Nicole Fye won big and set records.

The team lost just one meet this season. On three separate occasions winning by over 80 points. Individual growth was visible as more swimmers met state cut times.

“I’ve matured going through high school, and I’ve grown into a mentally tough swimmer,” junior Gabby Zhang said.

At the conference meet, the swim team dusted the competition as the girls won 10 out of 11 events to take first, and the boys finishing with a respectable top 10 finish. Continuing their success from conference to regionals, the girls once again won by over 100 points finishing first, with the boys finishing second. A dominant run all leading up to their biggest stage, states.

“I was excited because I know our team could do really well, but I was also really nervous because of the pressure from last year,” senior Nicole Fye said.

Yet the fear subsided as she hit the water. Fye repeated as the 200 free state champion, and added the 500 free state champion to cap off a prolific high school career.

Junior Gabby Zhang improved her state performance from last season finishing second in the 100 fly and 100 back.  

“It was really exciting knowing that all the hard work you’ve done is paying off,” Zhang said.

The relay team comprised of Fye, Zhang, sophomore Emerson Davis, and sophomore Allie MacMillan finished second in the 200 free relay and first in the 400 freestyle relay.  

MacMillan and Davis had their own individual success as they finished sixth and tenth respectively on the 50 free. MacMillan also took sixth in the 500 free as Davis took sixth in the 100 fly. All contributed to a second place finish at states, behind only the perennial powerhouse James Madison High School.

On the boys’ side, Reese Fye finished tenth in the 500 fly and 16th in 200 free. Trace Wall earned eighth in the 100 back and twelfth in the 100 free. The boys 400 free relay team finished ninth, with the boys finishing thirteenth overall and capping off an improved overall season.

As RRHS moves up to 5A next season, the road will become more difficult, but the swim team will continue to persevere.

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