Swimming across the finish line

McLean swim team competes in the state competition


McLean girls swim team

HUDDLED UP — The girls 400 relay team huddles up before their race. They placed 5th in the state.

After being delayed several weeks by snow and other weather issues, McLean’s swim team competed in their states meet on Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Jeff Rouse Center in Stafford.
Both the boys and girls teams had amazing performances and set multiple school records in the past week.
Freshman Catherine Hughes placed fourth in the 200 yard individual medley and second in the 100 yard breaststroke, setting school records in both.
“As a freshman swimming against some of the top swimmers in the state, many of them juniors and seniors, was a little nerve wracking. However, the exciting atmosphere was contagious and motivated me, Hughes said. “Knowing that I would be swimming next to some of these top swimmers who are very strong inspires me to swim harder.”
Additionally, junior Lily Flint placed 5th in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle, breaking the school record for the former with a time of 51.40 seconds. Hughes and Flint, as well as junior Emily Friedman and senior Skye Sunderhauf, placed 5th together in the girls 400 yard relay.
“States was a fast meet with some of the best swimmers in the nation,” Flint said. “They really helped push me to set the school record again.”
On the boys team, junior Ryan Sribar placed 8th in the 100 yard breaststroke race, and the boys 200 yard freestyle relay with Sribar, junior Andrew Christofferson, and seniors Owen Thomas and Yousef Abouamer placed fourth and broke the school record.

“Everyone in the relay got so hyped, we were shouting and jumping around [after the race],” Sribar said. “We actually ended up beating [the school record] by more than a second, which is a lot for such a short relay.”
From the start of the season, the team faced challenges due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“Covid has changed the meets by limiting the amount of people that can go,” Sribar said. “States was a lot harder to qualify for this year because there were not cut times, just the top four from each region could go. This made it so a lot less people from McLean went, we had a smaller states team than usual. They also split up boys and girls so there was a lot less camaraderie, which kinda sucked.”
Despite the small team, the restrictions did not keep them from having a fun, successful meet.
“My relay team all [wore] red sparkly tutus as we walked up for our race,” Sunderhauf said.“We had lots of team spirit, and it was so funny to wear the tutus up to the blocks.”
Overall, it was a good end to the season, especially for the seniors who will no longer be competing after this year.
“This isn’t the final year I was expecting at all, but I’m so glad we ended up having a season,” Sunderhauf said. “My last states was super fun with my relay team and we all got very hyped for our last race together.”