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The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Swim and Dive break records at state meet

Junior+Sean+Easley+dives+into+the+water+at+the+state+meet.+
Courtesy of Lovejoy Swim
Junior Sean Easley dives into the water at the state meet.

On Feb. 23 and 24, the Lovejoy swim and dive team competed at the state meet. The athletes competed against nearly five hundred other athletes and represented Lovejoy well.

“Our athletes at Lovejoy had a really good year this year,” coach Matthew Bolinger said. “The boys broke six team records at state, while the girls broke two team records.”

When the team left for the state meet, they made sure to make their trip memorable and to create bonds within the team.

Grant Hu and Chris Wang pose for a picture on podium.

“The best part of the state meet was the time I got to spend with the team,” junior Chris Wang said. “Travel meets are special because you have to live with your team for the weekend. Making these memories while competing at state was the best part for me.”

Both teams performed admirably, with the girls team placing twelfth and the boys team placing tenth. This reflects their hard work over this season, and shows a promising future for the team.

“The state meet was very lively and very loud,” junior Hunter Hedges said. “The atmosphere was very hyped up because everyone wanted to win swimming at state.”

Not only were improvements made as a whole team, but these athletes crushed the competition. Senior Grant Hu received his first gold medal swimming the 100 breaststroke with a time of 54.82, and broke the 5A state record.

I’m sure there were some feelings of doubt that the 100 breaststroke,” Bolinger said. “His first event to get him to State in 2021, would be his first gold at State in 2024. Despite that, Grant exceeded his goals by not only grabbing the gold but also claiming that record.” 

Lovejoy also made new school records during the boys 200 medley relay with a time of 1:35.64, where Austin Stone, Grant Hu, Hunter Hedges, and Chris Wang all competed.

“I participated in the 200 medley relay for fly and had a personal best time where we placed sixth in the state,” Hedges said. “I think that our 200 medley relay had the best performance, breaking our own record again throughout the year.”

On the girls side of the meet, Ava Easley and Maria Faoro were strong contenders in their respective sections of the meet. Easley placed second in the girls 200 backstroke with a time of 56.16, and Faoro placed second in the girls diving. 

“Ava is another great example of goals coming to fruition,” Bolinger said. “She has been training non stop on her backstroke to be where she is now. Honestly with her placing second this year she has a fantastic shot at gold next year.” 

The Boys 400 Free Relay hugs after competing.

Preparation is vital to a swimmers success, and the team improved steadily throughout the season.These improvements took a huge amount of work from the team, with hour and a half long practices in the mornings and two to three hour practices in the evenings.

“It was a super tight race the whole way and the top three were separated by tenths of a second,” Chris Wang said. “We were happy with the results of our hard work.”

Overall, the meet reflected the hard work they put in to prepare for the meet, and it showed the team achieving the goals that they set for the team as a whole and individually. With this pattern of improvement, the team can expect higher rates of success next season.

I definitely preach about making goals, and making hard goals at that. We had some goals that we missed,” said coach Matthew Bolinger. “Despite that, we also had some big goals that did manifest at State.”

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Zoe Reed, Staff Writer
Ready for her first year on TRL staff, junior Zoe Reed is excited to start writing. Reed is often found on the soccer field scrimmaging with her club teammates, reading her new favorite book or waiting impatiently for the new Taylor Swift album. She loves to sing the new pieces in choir, especially Flight and Tshela Moya, and is counting down the days for region auditions. She is a big fan of her two dogs, Vader and Rex, and takes way too many pictures of them. She is excited for the TRL experience and can’t wait to see what the year brings.

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