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Bearacudas Win State 2018!

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Mathews and Emma Ryan

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On Thursday, February 8th, the Harpeth Hall swim team loaded the buses for the State Swim Meet in Knoxville, Tennessee. The team competed both Friday and Saturday, and through their never-ending dedication and hard work, the Bearacudas won their fifth consecutive swimming and diving State Championship title. Even though Harpeth Hall has done exceedingly well in years past, especially the last five, Harpeth Hall’s performance in 2018 was remarkable in that the team not only won the state meet, but they also broke individual, state, and National Independent School records.

On Friday, February 9, Harpeth Hall came in first place in four different events and second in two. Our state champions are Alex Walsh, Ella Nelson, Alex Massey, and Gretchen Walsh in the 200 medley relay, Alex Walsh in the 200 free, Ella Nelson in the 200 im, and Gretchen Walsh in the 50 free. Our runners-up are Ophelia Pilkinton in the 50 free and Alex Massey in the 100 fly. The Bearacudas came in full of energy and did not disappoint as they finished their first day of the meet with a 50-point lead!

On Saturday, February 10, the Bearacudas returned to the pool and continued to show off their abilities, this time placing first in five events and second in one. Our state champions are Ophelia Pilkinton in the 100 free, Ophelia Pilkinton, Alex Massey, Julia Jane Eskew, and Gretchen Walsh in the 200 free relay, Gretchen Walsh in the 100 back, Alex Walsh in the 100 breast, and Ophelia Pilkinton, Ella Nelson, Julia Jane Eskew, and Alex Walsh in the 400 free relay. Our runner-up was Ella Nelson in the 500 free. These girls are truly incredible and finished the meet with a lead!

It is clear that the Harpeth Hall Swim Team is filled with exceptional talent and ability. The entire Bearacuda team worked hard and helped these girls to their records. When asked about her favorite memory, Julia Jane Eskew, class of 2018, reflected, “Over the years, the final relay has always been the most exciting because it was the last time each senior class would be competing for Harpeth Hall. This year it was especially exciting, as it was my last time to swim with Harpeth Hall. It was also special because our relay team walked out to the same song (‘Prelude 12/2’)  I walked out to my freshman year 400 relay.”

Another member of the team, freshman Gretchen Walsh, also shared a similar favorite memory: “Walking out for the 100 back because it was my last race and the walk out song was great (‘Super Bass’).”

Each Bearacuda knows that she is part of a family that constantly supports her throughout the season.  Eskew commented that “no matter the meet, my teammates could always be found behind your block cheering you on,” and Walsh reflected that she loves “the fact that being on the HH swim team allows me to get to know and become close with some upperclassmen.”

The Bearacuda team was described by team members with words such as exhilarating, sentimental, fun, competitive, and team spirit, which further enhances not only the team’s outstanding athletic capabilities, but also its ability to form an inclusive and supportive bond among team members.

Let’s go Bearacudas!

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Bearacudas Win State 2018!