ARS Swim Team Takes Magnolia


The new swimming banner, a gift from the Searcy family, on display below the ARS Swim Team’s seating area

Willa Smith, Co-Editor in Chief

On Thursday and Friday, February 6-7th, the Ann Richards Swim Team was in Magnolia competing at the Regional Swim Meet. In order to qualify, a swimmer must get in the Top 6 at Districts, which Hanna Searcy (12), Chloe Coronado Winn (11), Meredith Oldham (10) and Willa Smith (10) succeeded in.

Coach Maura Cosgrove accompanied the girls, driving them in a seven-seater SUV to Magnolia on Thursday afternoon, and stayed overnight with them in a wonderful water-themed hotel Thursday night for the competition on Friday. There, the girls took their seats in the stands, jumping in the pool for warm-up at a bright and early 8:50AM (they were up at 6:45 that morning for breakfast and the thirty minute ride to Magnolia High School, where the meet was taking place). After warm-ups, the girls stayed warm, saying hello to their friends from various teams, and getting mentally prepared for the 200 Medley Relay, which they placed third at at Districts in January.

The team posing before the 200 Freestyle Relay
The team posing before the 200 Freestyle Relay

Willa Smith started the relay strong in backstroke, Hanna Searcy held the time Willa set in breaststroke, Meredith Oldham combatted her congestion from allergies (which was causing some breathing issues for her) in a fantastic butterfly leg, and Chloe Coronado Winn brought it home with a 29 second freestyle leg. The girls were happy with their time, although slightly slower than their District time, their goal at the meet was to have fun and do their best, which they did.

Next up was Meredith and Chloe in the 200 Free, where they both did great, although Meredith was disappointed with her difficulty breathing throughout the event. This caused her to scratch the other individual event she was signed up for, the 500 Free, which Willa was also swimming, because she was nervous about not being able to get enough air. Chloe brought another 29 second 50 Free, which wrapped up her individual events for the meet.

Next up was Willa Smith’s 500 Free, which started off on the bad side, with a shorter warm-up than she had hoped for (she didn’t realize how close they were to her event) and then the meet staff couldn’t find her counter. (In the 500 Free, there’s twenty 25s, so each swimmer has someone who dunks a counter into the pool to let them know where they are.) But, Willa held strong, counting for herself until Chloe put in the counter on her fifteenth 25, and finished with a 6:35, only four seconds slower than her District time.

Senior Hanna Searcy in her last individual event, the 100 Breaststroke
Senior Hanna Searcy in her last individual event, the 100 Breaststroke

The 200 Freestyle Relay was next, with a lineup of Meredith Oldham starting, Hanna Searcy second, Willa Smith third, and Chloe Coronado Winn anchoring. The relay did well, only adding about forty seconds to their District time. It was a bittersweet moment, as it was senior Hanna Searcy’s last relay with the group, who had been swimming together since last year. Willa jumped into the next event in her 100 Backstroke, where she felt proud of her time, even though she added a bit to it. Hanna’s last individual event of her swimming career was up next – the 100 Breaststroke – and she was proud of her time and her end to the season.

The Ann Richards Swim Team finished out an incredible season with an equally incredible Regional Meet, and are looking forward to the off-season and starting up next year! Expect information about recruiting for next year’s season in March or April.