Dolan Smashes States

Dolan+Smashes+States

Photo Courtesy of Mackenzie Kearney

Beth Gentsch, Sentry Staff Reporter

The starter opens his mouth. “Take your mark.” Swimmers lean down, their arms of chiseled muscle holding steadily. With the sound of the beep, eight fastskin clad bodies dive in and become a whirlwind of waves mixed with arms and legs. Coaches shake their rolled up meet sheets vigorously in their swimmer’s face. Teammates cheer. Parents in the stands yell. This is the kind of rare energetic atmosphere that was present at the VHSL 6A State Swimming and Diving Championships in Richmond from

February 19-21.

Junior Suzanne Dolan is all too familiar with the contagious energy that can only be found at high school championship meets. Dolan managed to clinch wins in both of her events, with times of 1:02.48 in 100 breast and 22.81 in 50 free. Going into the races, Dolan mentioned that she was seeded to win, but with the competition at States, it was not necessarily going to be easy.

“In the 50 I had Hannah Baker (of Robinson) as a big competition for me, and Jackie Clabeaux (of Chantilly) is also really fast and she beat me at Regions so I had her to watch out for in my 100 breast,” said Dolan.

Other individual highlights from States include senior Lauren Allard placing 13th in 100 breast, junior Brady Almand placing 8th in 100 breast and junior Elizabeth Romano placing 11th in 500 free.

Dolan mentions that she has undergone many ups and downs in her swimming career since she was a freshman, yet ultimately it seems she has emerged stronger than ever.

“Last year, I really was not into swimming; I actually quit after States. I told myself I was going to quit going into States, and likewise I did not have the best meet. It was definitely mental. But a month afterwards I was like, I love swimming and I got back into it, and then this year I was like, yeah let’s go!” said Dolan.

It is a widely known fact that the training schedule of many swimmers includes swimming upwards of 3 miles while the rest of the world sleeps at home in their warm, cozy beds. Dolan’s schedule is no different; she currently practices six days a week from 4:30-6:30 a.m. with her club team, Machine Aquatics.

Similarly, Dolan admits that what she dislikes the most about swimming is indeed the time commitment.

“It takes up so much time! Earlier in the season, I was also doing crossfit Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons for an hour, and I was doubling on tuesday afternoons so I had another 3 hours in the water those days. My schedule is literally swimming, school, eat, bed, repeat,” said Dolan.

With regards to what she loves most about the sport, Dolan’s favorite part of swimming is the fact that it involves both team effort and individual effort.

“People can push you, but in the end it’s mostly on you,” said Dolan.

With regards to the next big adventure, Dolan will be headed to the 2015 NCSA Junior National Swimming Championships in Orlando, Florida March 17-21.