Swimming team breaks school records at state meet

Congratulations to the student-athletes on the High School swimming team. The girls team brought home a state trophy and eviscerated USN's records board. Continue reading for full recap from the state meet.
University School of Nashville's swimming team got off to a quick start at the Tennessee Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association state meet held February 10-12 at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus. 

Friday morning began with the boys 200 medley relay team of Leo Frein '25, Jacob Rothman '23, Dean Stevenson '26, and Mark Luschen '24 who lowered their seed time and performed well in the heats. Leo was the team's first individual competitor, and he turned in a strong first performance. Jacob came next with a new personal record in the boys 200 IM.

Olivia Schwarz '24 battled her way through the 200 IM just a few minutes later. And a few minutes after that Anna Hulan '25 earned the team's first finals swim with a new best time and school record in the girls 200 IM, lowering Taylor Melton '11's time of 2:05.43 to 2:04.41.

The excitement then shifted back to the boys where first-time qualifiers Mark and Sawyer Beckwith '25 swam in the same heat in the boys 50 free. After monster swims a few weeks ago at the region meet to earn their cuts, the boys did not PR, but they threw down fast times and performed well in the heats. The girls kept the ball rolling with Kara Grace Hess '23 earning a new PR in her 50 free. Then Olivia Barbieri '25 dove in to earn a speedy 24.42 — not only a PR and fast enough to return back in the consolation heat, but also fast enough to earn a new school record besting Lisa Bushnell '96's 24.54.

The morning concluded with the girls 100 butterfly. Olivia S. and Kara Grace each swam near-PRs in the heats. Anna swam a blazing 56.72, earning herself a spot in the finals, as well as setting another new school record by besting a time of 57.34 set by Elena Escalas '15.

As one might expect from a team of this caliber, the team decided on a Hawaiian theme for our swims on Friday night. Not only were we the best dressed on deck, but we also had some of the best swims in USN history. Anna continued her dominance in the 200 IM with an exciting race (down to the finish) to earn third in the state and lowering her record from the morning down to an incredible 2:03.67. Olivia B. swam soon after in the 50 free going so fast she lowered her school record from the morning to a speedy 24.41 and earned 11th in the state. To cap off our stellar night, Anna swam the 100 fly and again it went down to the wire; she took fourth in a tight race, and lowered her school record to a wildly fast 56.46.

On a high from the previous night, the Tigers came ready to battle Saturday morning. Sawyer started the team off strong in the boys 100 freestyle heats with an insane PR that placed him just outside of USN's top 10 list. Emma Schwarz '24 then went in the water for her 100 free, earning a season-best time. Olivia B. followed soon after with a monster swim that earned her a spot back at night in the consolation heat. While Olivia B. was in the water, Dean dove in for his 500 freestyle, the longest event of the day. The 500 is tough on its own, and it can be even tougher when you don't have anyone to race against, but that didn't stop Dean who pulled ahead early and stayed ahead — earning a 10-second drop off his lifetime best and a spot on USN's top 10 times list.

With that level of momentum, it was no surprise that both our girls and boys 200 free relays were stellar. The boys team of Leo, Dean, Mark, and Sawyer crushed its seed time and the girls team of Olivia B., Olivia S., Kara Grace, and Anna broke the school record from 1996 with a time of 1:39.61. Leo got back in for a PR in the 100 backstroke, earning 18th (second alternate). We then wrapped up the morning with the 400 free relays which were extraordinary. The boys team of Mark, Jacob, Sawyer, and Dean battled hard to try to earn a spot back at night, but sadly came up short. The girls team of Olivia B., Olivia S., Kara Grace, and Anna did earn their spot back at finals and lowered their own school record by a few seconds to a blazingly fast 3:35.88.

USN rolled into the final session of the meet in all pink and hungry for more; the team did not disappoint. Olivia B. got the ball rolling first with a great PR in the 100 free to earn 12th at state. She then joined up with her pals Olivia S., Kara Grace, and Anna for the first of two big relay swims. The 200 free relay battled it out for a seventh place finish in a tough heat, just missing the girls' time from earlier in the day. They then came back later in the evening for a similarly impressive battle in the 400 free relay, where they earned an impressive sixth place finish, again just missing their mark from earlier in the day. The cherry on top of a spectacular weekend was that the girls team placed 10th, bringing home USN's first state swimming trophy since before anyone on the team was born. 

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