Whenever the Division 2 Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships occur, Gracie Olsen and the rest of the Fenton varsity swim team understands there will be some differences.
However, one thing won’t change. The person that won the two events a year ago will be the favorite to win both events again this season at Grand Rapids Northview High School. The most current potential date for the state meet is Dec. 22 for the diving competition and Dec. 23 for the swimming portion of the competition.
There are other changes that will be made to the state meet. Each event will consist of one swim by each competitor in each event. Also, at this time no spectators are expected to be in the audience. Teammates won’t be allowed to stay on the dock.
Olsen will have plenty of teammates with her at the meet. Also qualified for events are Rose Haney, Halee Alexander, Sophie Stefanac, Delaney Fries, Abigail Dolliver and Maddie Kazmierski.
“I think the no spectators may bring the energy down a little bit but that just means we’ll have to bring ours up,” Olsen said. “So it could be good or it could be bad. I just don’t think it will be bad. We will be able to bring the energy. Even though there won’t be anyone in the stands we’ll be able to make it up by ourselves.
“I think that I’d rather have two swims because I’m a swimmer that needs a lot of warm-up so having that prelim trial swim is nice to see where I’m at (during the preliminary). I get to think about it and what can I do better the next day. Now I’m going to have to think about in the past and apply everything I need to add for that one race.”
The Tigers also have an opportunity to do some great damage in all three relays. Last year’s 400 freestyle relay team placed third in the event. This year the squad of Olsen, Stefanac, Fries and Dolliver hope to at least match that, if not contend for the event state championship.
“Our 400 placed third and this year I think we can make it first,” Olsen said. “We were only a few seconds off our state time at the Livonia meet so I think once we are tapered and ready I think we are going to go a really great time.”
The Tigers will have two other relays at the state meet. Olsen, Dolliver, Alexander and Fries will make up the 200 medley relay squad and Stefanac, Fries, Haney and Dolliver will make up the 200 freestyle relay.
Individually, Stefanac will compete in the 100 freestyle and the 100 back stroke while Dolliver will compete in the 100 breaststroke. Haney qualified in the 200 individual medley while Carrigan will compete in the 100 backstroke. Sana Saab is scheduled to compete in the 50 freestyle.