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Men’s Swim and Dive competes at state meet

Completing his stroke, junior Zach Spalding competed at the Titan Senior Night.

Maricel Lehner

Completing his stroke, junior Zach Spalding competed at the Titan Senior Night.

Emma Hammer and Erin Sullivan

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He tightens his swim cap, steps onto the platform, and looks at his teammates for the last time before diving into the water. As the shot blares, he leaps into the water, giving his final swim everything he has. Senior Nick Shechtman competed in his final race, as the Titans swam at the state meet on Feb. 23 and 24.

After coming off a sectional championship, the Titans prepared to compete at state once again. The sectional meet proved how strong the team could perform, according to Shechtman.

“It’s funny because we did not win any individual events,” Shechtman said.  “We took a lot of 2nd [place victories] and a lot of 3rd [place victories]. [This is] a sign of a good team [because] we actually won without winning any single events. I was really happy with how the guys performed at Sectionals.”

Head coach Keith MacDonald was proud of the Titans’ success at sectionals, and expected the team to perform well at State because of their numerous victories throughout the season. Their success at sectionals was a result of their hard work and passion for their sport, according to MacDonald.

“They were very well prepared coming into the season, [and] they trained hard during the season,” MacDonald said. “I thought [this season] was tremendous, we won a bunch of invites, [and] the guys had a lot of fun throughout the season.”

Throughout the state meet, MacDonald was anticipating more victories. On a positive note, MacDonald says he is proud the team was able to compete, especially the younger classmen.

“We made finals in the 200 Medley Relay and [freshman] Quinn Loughran qualified in the 100 fly… and [freshman] Max Iida qualified in the 100 breast,” MacDonald said. “The rest of the guys just gained some valuable experience.”

Shechtman and his teammates junior Cameron Schulte, sophomore Adam Zuiker, and Iida took 12th place in their 200 Medley Relay with a final time of 1:36.18. Shectman says that even though few events placed for the Titans, the team’s depth will go a long way for the program.

“We’re usually in the top 10, but this year we got 35th,” Shechtman said. “We had two freshman get top 12 in the State which is huge. That hardly ever happens.”

Shechtman says that the Titans were not as victorious at state because two of their top swimmers sophomore Elliott Chen and sophomore Michael Hadjiivanov were unable to compete at state due to illness. Even though the Titans did not perform as well, they still enjoyed their time at State, according to Shectman.

“[Chen and Hadjiiivanov’s inability to compete] hurt all three of our relays, and we lost some individual points as well,” Shechtman said. “Without all the pressure to do well, we shifted our focus towards trying to have fun and soaking up the state experience.

According to Iida, he is excited and ready for his next three years swimming at GBS. Iida was able to break the GBS record for the Men’s 100 breast with a time of 0:57.57 at State. He is apart of the seven out of the eight state qualifiers who will be returning next season.

“We are a young team, so next year and the year after we’re all just going to get stronger and bigger,” Iida said. “Eventually the goal is to just win state, which is definitely possible with what we have.”

According to Shechtman, as he waves goodbye to his GBS swim career, he reflects on all four of his seasons as a Titan swimmer.

“The best part was the team culture,” Shechtman said. “Despite our lack of success at the state meet, we worked really hard, and nobody can take anything away from what we did this year.”

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Men’s Swim and Dive competes at state meet