By Summer Williamson and Adaline Bisese
Last Thursday, February 7th, the James River High School swim team competed in Regions competition against 10 schools at the Christiansburg Aquatics Center in Christiansburg, Virginia. The girls and boys each placed 5th out of 12 or so teams, and the entire team placed 5th overall. Several members of the team made it to states in six events. The swimmers that will be participating at States this year are Sydney Wilson (Sophomore), Megan Cox (Junior), Ellie Holter (Sophomore), Caleb Meador (Junior), Dillon Minnix (Sophomore), Ian DeHaven (Senior), and Landyn White (Senior).
The coach of James River High School’s swim team, Kevin Franceschini, has expressed his pride for the swimmers that will be competing in Richmond for States on February 14th, 2019. Coach Diane Nguyen mirrored Franceschini’s fondness as she congratulated the swimmers progressing to States. In regards to the entire team, the coaches are delighted with the success of the whole season and the improvements made by the members.
During a pep rally at James RIver High School a few days earlier, Coach Franceschini made an open call to anyone with an interest in joining the team. “No experience is needed [to join the team], just come out and try it,” he continued by congratulating his 2018-2019 swimmers whose season ended with Thursday’s meet at Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
James River High School senior, Katie Keith, gave her input on her last season of swimming with the JRHS team. She said, “It was great being with my team and swimming my last meet of my five year career.”
The team has been practicing alongside Lord Botetourt High School at Hollins University on weeknights. LBHS coaches, Ashley Safrit and Lindsey Jones, “feel strongly about [their] individuals being top sixteen” among other contestants at the state meet. “This past swim season was an excellent, excellent swim season. [Their] girls were almost undefeated and [their] boys only lost two meets. This has been one of [their] strongest [years] yet,” according to coach Ashley Safrit. The team will also be competing in their states meet within the next few days. Swimmers Katelyn Arney (12), Cooper Dehr (10), Aiden Jones (9), Miranda Kirtely (10), James Lively (9), Terry Lively (12), Leah Meacham (9), Roderick Plenge (12), Sophie Rakes (10), Tristan Robinson (12), Ryan Spangler (12), and Madelynn Sprouse (10) have advanced to state. In agreeance with James River’s swim coach, both Lord Botetourt coaches are pushing for new swimmers to join their team. This year the LBHS team has “ten seniors, so [they] are going to lose a lot and are going to have to recover a lot,” as well.
Listed below is a table showing JRHS’s results from the Regions meet. Highlighted rows identify the swimmers and the events of which they qualified for states.