Patriots Take States

Mary Kate Reicheiter went to states for swimming
Mary Kate Reicheiter went to states for swimming
Courtesy of Mary Kate Reicheiter

While the season of winter sports may seem to be slowing down, state competitions are only just beginning. Because of the astounding success of our school’s athletic teams, it is no surprise that such a large number of winter sports qualified to compete at the state level. However, amongst these athletes, there were few who had as tremendous success as the dedicated girls of the gymnastics team.

Although the team devastatingly fell short at states last winter, the results of this year’s 6A girls state gymnastics meet were quite the opposite. After winning numerous titles at the conference and regional meets, the girls brought home third place at the state competition. Overjoyed with the team’s phenomenal improvement, junior gymnast Marisa Daugherty shares how commitment throughout the season drastically changed its ending.

“Last year, we were one of the top teams and won our region, but this year we really had to give it our all to make it to the state meet. When we were at practice, we really applied ourselves and tried to work on improving our skills,” Daugherty said.

Yorktown’s team score of 144.55 fell just a point short of McLean High School’s and Colonial Forge High School’s score. Nonetheless, coaches and players alike are thrilled with the results of both the team category as well as individual skills after the outstanding improvement that was made from previous years.

“Our goal going into the meet was to just do the best routines possible and leave it all out on the floor- we definitely accomplished that. The team did head and shoulders better than last year,” senior gymnast Olivia Zavrel said.

Similar to the gymnastic team’s fantastic closure, the indoor track team also had an outstanding run at states to end their season. Yorktown took two boys to the state competition, both of which excelled immensely in their events. After a long season of tremendous dedication, senior Austin Stout placed 8th at states as well as DJ Isaac tying for 13th in high jump.

However, these results didn’t come with ease. Hours and hours of dedication spent on the track has lead to this fantastic ending of their season. Head coach Mark Stripe shares how the sport continues to challenge players and coaches alike.

“Every meet’s a challenge. Individually, you’re trying to do your best, and when people all collectively do the best and get better, the team gets better,” Stripe said.

On February 17, fourteen of our swimmers competed at states held on George Mason University’s campus. Months of dedication paid off when the girls qualified 13th overall.

“We lost a lot of great seniors last year, but we also gained a lot of fast freshmen. We have never really been the best, but we have always tried hard and gotten some good swims in.” Brooks said.

After being placed in a difficult conference, the team knew success would only come with immeasurable dedication. These swimmers worked tirelessly throughout the season, spending hours in the water improving their skills and humbly understanding that they can always progress farther.

“Being in a tough conference is challenging because there are so many other competitive swimmers in this area. The bigger schools draw from a larger region, so there [are] going to be faster swimmers,” freshman swimmer Mary Kate Reicherter said.

Despite the intense competition these athletes faced throughout the season, they continued to develop close relationships so that they could function as a team rather than as individuals. This aspect of teamwork is undoubtably a vital factor in the success of the swim team this season.

“We broke a lot of records this year, which is a big improvement, but also grew closer as a team, which was more of an improvement in my eyes,” Brooks said.

Although their season may be ending, these friendships made between teammates will assuredly last until next winter. After a challenging but rewarding winter, it is unquestionable that these athletes have earned a well-deserved rest. With spring tryouts coming to a close, keep an eye out for a new batch of thrilling sports seasons to begin.

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